Baja 1000 racer dies from heart attack after head-on collision - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Baja 1000 racer dies from heart attack after head-on collision

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Baja 1000 and SCORE racer Mark Luhtala died Wednesday at UC San Diego Medical Center from a heart attack days after his leg was amputated as a result of a head-on collision.

Luhtala, 48, was seriously injured in a racing accident early last Saturday morning during the SCORE Baja 1000 when his Trophy Truck Spec race truck collided head on with Class 1 competitor Cody Parkhouse.

Luhtala and Parkhouse were transported to UC San Diego Medical Center.

Luhtala was a graduate of Southern Illinois University, was also an experienced pilot and owner/president of Luhtech Jet, a jet aircraft maintenance company based in West Palm Beach, Fla.

In statement via email, SCORE said:

"All of us in the SCORE family send our sincere condolences and continuing thoughts and prayers to Luhtala's two daughters (aged 12 and two) other close family members, his wife Holly and everyone impacted by this racing accident. The SCORE Nation also sends thoughts, prayers and well-wishes to the Parkhouse family during this time of critical need as well."

Parkhouse remains in the UCSD ICU department in serious, but stable condition with considerable trauma injuries.

Organizers of the Baja 1000 are asking for donations to help both families in the crash. 

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