Vicious accident injures 28 at Daytona

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The last-lap accident happened in the NASCAR Nationwide Series opening race on Saturday afternoon.

Daytona Beach – Twenty-eight spectators were injured in a violent, last-lap accident in a Nationwide Series race on Saturday afternoon at the Daytona International Speedway. The injury information was reported by Joie Chitwood III, president of the Daytona International Speedway, at a press conference shortly after 7 p.m. on Saturday. He was joined by Steve O’Donnell, senior vice president of racing operations for NASCAR.

“We transported 14 people off property and treated 14 at our on-track care center,” Chitwood said. No information was provided on which medical centers the injured were transported nor the conditions of the patients, although television reports indicated 12 were injured and six of them were in trauma care and one of these individuals was said to be in critical condition.

Emergency crew at work
Emergency crew at work

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Stated O’Donnell, “The fencing is being repaired, and we are very confident that we will be ready for tomorrow’s event, the 55th 500. As with any of these incidents, we will conduct a thorough review and learn what we can.”

Chitwood said the track’s medical personnel responded appropriately and that safety protocols were followed. He also confirmed that emergency and medical personnel were on the scene immediately.

The track president also indicated the portion of the stands where the injuries occurred would be reviewed, but he thought those seats and affected areas would be in use on Sunday.

Once the injured were removed, a battalion of workers and support vehicles started working on the damaged areas and one portion of the fencing was replaced.

The accident happened as a huge pack of cars were charging toward the finish line and when two cars came together, the chaos started. In all, 12 cars were involved, crashing and skidding into each other.

Engine and wheel of Kyle Larson in the grandstands
Engine and wheel of Kyle Larson in the grandstands

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

The impact from the crash ripped the engine from Kyle Larson’s car, and the loose motor penetrated the catch fence as did one wheel. It appeared that another wheel along with suspension parts and other debris flew into the grandstands, and the flying debris is what is thought injured the spectators.

Additional information will be provided as it becomes available. Reports are anticipated from the involved medical centers.

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About this article
Series NASCAR-NS
Article type Breaking news
Tags daytona, larson, nascar-ns, nationwide, stewart