On the last lap of the Nationwide Series opener, just a day before the Daytona 500, tragedy struck at the famous NASCAR track. Drivers Kylie Larson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Parker Kilgerman, Justin Allgaier and Brian Scott were involved in a catastrophic multi-car accident, with Larson’s car going airborne and crashing into the catch fence.
Debris from Larson’s car, including the tires and engine, were sent hurtling into the grandstands and into the crowds. From the tweets, pictures and videos gathered from witnesses, it appeared that one of the tires shot over the fence and landed in the lower section. The front end of Larson’s car was sheared off completely and his engine was wedged through a massive hole in the fence.
More than 30 spectators suffered injuries, with more than six suffering injuries which were deemed to be severe; however, no fatalities have been reported. Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood stated that 14 fans received immediate medical attention on site while 14 others were transported to local hospitals.
“First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with our race fans,” said Chitwood. “Following the incident we responded appropriately according to our safety protocols, and had emergency medical personnel at the incident immediately. We’re in the process of repairing the facility and will be ready to go racing tomorrow.”
Unfortunately, accidents such as this are not uncommon in this popular motorized sport. More than five drivers have died each decade dating back to the 1950s, with eight dying in the 2000s. That doesn’t take into account all of the different injuries sustained in the horrific crashes. Rarely, however, are fans of the sport counted in the carnage.
At Arnold & Itkin LLP, our thoughts are with the injured fans & their families. If you have legal questions, or would like to have your case reviewed by our professional Houston personal injury lawyers, we encourage you to reach out and contact us today. We are here to help.