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Perez, 40, dies a week after serious crash

1/10/2005

MADRID, Spain -- Spanish motorcyclist Jose Manuel Perez,
injured last week in the Dakar Rally, died Monday, a hospital said.

Following an accident last Thursday on the rally's seventh stage
in Mauritania, Africa, surgeons removed Perez's spleen and kidney
before he was transferred to a hospital in Alicante, Spain.

But Perez, 40, developed a fever and died early Monday, just
hours after he had been flown in from Mauritania, the hospital
said.

The Dakar Rally covers 5,566 miles from Barcelona, Spain, to
Dakar, Senegal, including. It ends on Jan. 16.

More than 30 people have died in conjunction with the rally
since it was first held in 1979, including the race's organizer,
Thierry Sabine, in 1986 when his helicopter crashed in the desert.

The last driver killed was French co-driver Bruno Cauvy in
January, 2003. Cauvy, 48, was dead when doctors arrived at the
crash site by helicopter.

The car's lead driver, Daniel Nebot, wasn't injured in the
crash, on the stage between Zilla and Sarir in Lybia.