NASCAR crash injures 28 before Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR has always been a dangerous sport for drivers, but it is risky for spectators as well, as scores lay injured from Saturday’s Daytona crash.
Large chunks of debris flew through the air and into spectator stands during the violent crash that totaled 10 cars and injured 28 fans of the Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300 race at the same Florida track where Sunday’s Daytona 500 will be held
Several closely-packed cars were jostling for position at top speed when they got tangled up, setting off a dangerous chain reaction that ensnared a number of vehicles.
Driver Kyle Larson’s vehicle ended up flying into a fence that separates the track from spectators. It broke into pieces — including tires and a fiery engine.
Larson walked away from the crash, even after the front part of his No. 32 car was completely gone. He and the other nine drivers involved told reporters that they were checked at a medical tent on the Daytona infield and released.
Some of the shredded debris flew into the barrier, while others got into the stands — some of it reaching the second level about 20 feet up.
A video posted on YouTube shows a cloud of debris flying into stands and one man gasping, “Oh, my God.” A tire rests on one seat, as a man frantically waves and yells to get the attention of paramedics.
Afterward, several spectators could be seen lying down after apparently suffering injuries. A line of about 10 ambulances lined up on the track, with some first responders carrying stretchers.
Fourteen fans were treated at an on-site medical facility, while 14 others were transported to area hospitals, speedway president Joie Chitwood told reporters.