Mass Parking Lot Injuries After NASCAR Race
Shortly after the October 30th NASCAR race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, tragedy struck as fans were making their way through the speedway's parking lot. A fan's vehicle lost control and crashed into a crowd injuring 22 people.
Shortly before 6pm Sunday in the parking area just outside of Turn 2 of the Speedway a driver lost control of his 2005 Chevy SSR convertible truck. The driver, 65 year old Gary Edem of Fairfax, Virginia was attempting to pass a Jeep in the parking lot. After hitting the Jeep, Edem veered into the crowd of pedestrians, sending several of them to the hospital with injuries.
Edem has been placed on a $7,500 bond and is being held in custody after the event. Nine people were taken to nearby hospitals and treated for non-life threatening injuries while thirteen others were treated on site for minor injuries. "We will monitor the situation closely with local authorities, and work with them to provide updates," Martinsville Speedway told the press.
While alcohol does not appear to be a factor, road-rage does as witness Roger Wolfe of Morgantown, W.Va., told USA TODAY Sports the driver pulled out of line, hit the Jeep, then struck “six or seven people and ran one person all the way over." Wolfe went on to say that the driver appeared to be "out of it." “He didn’t know where he was or what he did,” Wolfe said. “You could hear the screams for help. They must have had 15, 20 police cars and ambulances down there. The guy who got ran over had a sheet up to his neck. I figured he was pretty bad off.”
E3 Spark Plugs racing fans hopes all those injured have a fast and full recovery. As for the race itself, Jimmie Johnson won, earning him a top-spot in the title-deciding November 20th race to be held at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.