Tragedy Strikes Endurance Event

This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," Sept. 24, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

Watch "On the Record" every weeknight at 10 p.m. ET!

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Fans of a popular adventure race broadcast on CBS are reeling from a horrific twist that left one competitor dead. Australian Nigel Aylott was killed when a 300-pound boulder struck his head during a portion of the event.

Joining us from Seattle is Don Slack from Skagit Valley Rescue who helped recover Aylott's body. And joining us by phone from Washington is Gordon Wright, spokesman for the Subaru Primal Quest Adventure Race.

Gordon, first what is this race that he was competing in?

GORDON WRIGHT, SUBARU PRIMAL QUEST SPOKESMAN: The Subaru Primal Quest is an adventure race, which is a young sport. It started only in 1989, the essential element of which is that it's a coed sport and it's a multidiscipline sport and it can last anywhere from three to five hours to up to ten days.

VAN SUSTEREN: And in this incident that Nigel Aylott was in before he died, was that a ten-day contest or what was that?

WRIGHT: Yes. This is the longest race of its kind in North America and he was early on in the ten-day competition.

VAN SUSTEREN: And it was being filmed, right?

WRIGHT: Yes, we have a broadcast partner, CBS, who was filming the race for sports broadcasting on I believe it's January 23rd.

VAN SUSTEREN: Don, you had the unfortunate part in this to help recover the body. Do you know, Don, what happened to him, you know, that caused his death?

DON SLACK, SKAGIT MOUNTAIN RESCUE: What we know is that he was hit by a fairly large boulder. I think he was hit in the head and took a fairly significant fall after that and was killed instantly.

VAN SUSTEREN: How was he even in position to get hit by a boulder?

WRIGHT: Sorry, Don.

SLACK: Go ahead.

WRIGHT: The competitors were traveling on foot. It was a hiking section of the race. There are a lot of different disciplines in this race but they were on foot hiking.

The four teammates were together with another team actually and they were just descending a rocky slope when the boulder came loose and narrowly missing most of those competitors but unfortunately striking Nigel.

VAN SUSTEREN: Don, was this area a particularly dangerous area so that you need to be sort of an experience hiker or mountain climber, or is this a situation where this is just, you know, the most incredible accident that could happen to any sort of casual hiker who might be in the area?

SLACK: Well, it's not an area for a casual hiker but it's certainly an area where people can travel safely and I don't think it's an unreasonable place for people to be.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything unusual, Don, about even the boulders breaking loose? I mean, you know, what caused the boulder to break loose if you know, Don?

SLACK: I believe it was dislodged by another member of the party but I wasn't at the scene when the accident happened.

VAN SUSTEREN: Gordon, I mean that makes even I guess all the worst and certainly for the other team member, other person on another team that might have broke the boulder loose.


VAN SUSTEREN: Is that what happened, Gordon?

WRIGHT: Yes, that's exactly right. I'm afraid that's largely true although we don't know how precariously seeded the boulder was, you know. Was there a warming and freezing trend? There are many variables that went into this but, yes, an unavoidable accident.

VAN SUSTEREN: Gordon, what becomes of this competition?

WRIGHT: Well, we're proceeding with our plans to plan and stage the 2005 competition right now.

VAN SUSTEREN: And was Nigel an experienced competitor or was this his first time competing?

WRIGHT: Greta, yes. He was not only one of the finest back country endurance athletes in the world, he was actually leading this race and as good an athlete as he was, he was also an outsized personality, hugely loved in the sport and will just be missed terribly.

VAN SUSTEREN: And have any dropped out of this competition as a result of this tragic death, Gordon?

WRIGHT: Well, I can't speak for them. Most of the competitors and the teams are finishing the course. After a lot of discussion with his family and his teammates and the other team captains, we decided to go with their wishes and restart the race, although in a shortened form.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, gentlemen.

WRIGHT: So, yes, not all the teams are still in the race understandably but only a handful decided to drop for any number of reasons.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, gentlemen, thank you both very much. I appreciate it.

Content and Programming Copyright 2004 Fox News Network, L.L.C. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2004 eMediaMillWorks, Inc. (f/k/a Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, L.L.C.'s and eMediaMillWorks, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.