ENSENADA, Mexico (AP) _ A Baja 500 desert racer crashed into a crowd of spectators after losing control of his vehicle Saturday, killing a man and injuring eight other people, according to broadcast reports.

Luis Alberto Valdez died shortly after he was struck by the truck during the 30th Tecate SCORE Baja 500 Desert Race, a 460-mile course in the northern part of the Baja California peninsula, KFMB-TV reported.

Jason Baldwin, of Laguna Beach, lost control of his full-sized pickup less than 10 miles into the race, his father told the television station KGTV. Baldwin was taken by helicopter to Mercy Hospital in San Diego, where he was listed in serious condition.

``They spent I guess about a half an hour with the jaws of life prying him out of the car,'' Jim Baldwin, the driver's father, said. ``The car was in a pretty big wreck. His helmet, which is as good a helmet you can get ... was all cracked and so if it weren't for the helmet I don't think he'd be here.''

Spokesmen for Ensenada police did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment. The sponsor of the race, SCORE International, did not have details of the fatality but confirmed that Baldwin, 29, and his co-driver Mike Laughlin, 32 of Irvine, Calif., crashed about two miles into the race.

The event drew more than 200 drivers and motorcycle racers from the United States, Japan and Mexico. The race consists of pickup trucks, cars, motorcyles and all-terrain vehicles.