An investigation into the death of former Tasmanian man Nigel Harris is underway after he was struck by a vehicle and killed during a desert race in the Northern Territory on Monday.
The 60-year-old man was killed when a Finke Desert Race competitor veered off the track hitting several spectators about 35km from the start/finish line near Alice Springs.
The Canberra-based man, formerly of Northern Tasmania, died on impact and another male spectator in his 50s was seriously injured. A woman, believed to be the vehicle navigator, was also injured in the incident.
The car race aspect of the event was called off shortly after and the area around the crash site was declared a crime scene, with NT police investigating the cause this week.
Mr Harris was believed to have recently retired from a career as a customs officer. He was reportedly a passionate amateur photographer who was taking photos at the event.
Spectators who witnessed the incident have spoken about "the worst day they've ever had", including a fellow photographer who had been standing with Mr Harris in the moments leading up to the incident.
Mr Harris' wife, Sheryl Harris, thanked the public for their condolences on social media.
My husband was a wonderful man, husband, father and grandfather to his beautiful Evelyn and would have been touched by your words.Sheryl Harris
"My sincere hope is that the driver manages to get over this and that the race continues as is in the future. Those would have been his wishes."
NT police escorted more than 400 motorbike competitors from Finke back to Alice Springs after the bike leg of the race was also cancelled.
Commander of the Southern Command Craig Laidler thanked the first responders and gave his condolences to Mr Harris' family.
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Motorsport Australia and Finke Desert Race said the two organisations woud also investigate the crash and cooperate with the police.
"The Finke Desert Race mourns the loss of a spectator yesterday after a tragic incident on the track," the race committee said in a statement.
"We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and all those who have been impacted," race president Antony Yoffa said.
"We appreciate the efforts of all officials and volunteers across the weekend and commend the patience and understanding of competitors and spectators during this particularly difficult time."
The female navigator of the vehicle, also in her 50s, received minor injuries and was taken to Alice Springs Hospital.
The race is an multi-terrain two-day race for bikes, cars, buggies and quad bikes through desert country from Alice Springs to Aputula/Finke.
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