More than two dozen racing fans were injured – and many of them were hospitalized – in a terrifying crash at Daytona International Speedway on February 23.
The tragedy occurred when a car flew into a fence during a second-tier race, sending a tire and large chunks of debris sailing into the stands.
A reported 28 people were injured. The victims were carried out on stretchers. A forklift was required to remove a jagged piece of engine from the restraining fence.
Several of the victims have already hired a lawyer and are looking into bringing claims for their personal injuries from the wreck.
NASCAR and Speedway officials are investigating the incident. They say their priority is to identify what can be done to make their premises safe for fans.
According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the crash on Saturday night occurred during the last lap of the DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide Series, sending debris and a tire crashing through a fence that was designed to protect fans. A flaming engine was caught by the fence, and landed on a walkway.
Panic filled the stands as fans realized that dozens of individuals were bleeding and injured. On YouTube, a dramatic video shows fans rushing to offer aid, and other fans anxiously waving for help amidst erupting cries and screams.
A total of 14 patients were transported to three hospitals, including an adult and a child who were critically injured. As of Monday, seven remained hospitalized, but in stable condition.
Officials say they do not have a timetable for completing their investigation. No government agency has been called in to help piece together what happened and why.
In 1999, 50 lawsuits were filed after a tire flew over a catch fence during an IRL race at North Carolina’s Charlotte Motor Speedway. Three spectators were killed.
Those cases reportedly settled for somewhere between $10 million and $15 million prior to trial.