British team members hurt in rally crash

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Three British men including two former soldiers have been badly injured in a crash in South America as they were taking part in what is billed as the world’s toughest rally.

A spokesman for the Race2Recovery team said a support vehicle the three team members were travelling in during the Dakar Rally was involved in a head-on collision in Peru which is believed to have left two other people dead.

The three men, who are part of a team of injured soldiers taking part in the challenge, were named as Justin Birchall, 40, a team driver and civilian volunteer from Burnley, Lancs; former Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer Lee Townsend, a team mechanic, from Yate, near Bristol, and retired Army Major John Winskill, 42, the team logistics expert, who is from Wiltshire.

The men were transferred to a local hospital and later flown by aircraft to another hospital in Lima where they are said to be “stable and conscious” with “non-life-threatening” injuries.