March 17, 2013
Marysville, California – At least two people died after a race car veered off its lane and ran into a row located at the pit of a racing track during warm-up period at a race track in California last Saturday evening, authorities reported.
Two fatalities were listed: a boy of 14 years and man of 68 years, who were walking along the pit section of the Raceway Park of Marysville that is about 40 miles of north Sacramento when the mishap occurred. One of the winged sprint cars crashed into the two victims.
Sheriff’ Capt. Ron Johnson of Yuba County told reporters the man expired at the scene while the boy was pronounced dead when either he was still in the ambulance or upon admission to the hospital.
Personnel from the Sheriff’s Department identified the man as Dale Wondergem Jr., resident of Grass Valley, and the boy was identified as 14-year-old Marcus Johnson, resident of Santa Rosa.
According to Undersheriff Jerry Read, the young boy was the cousin of a 17-year-old race driver Chase Johnson who came off unscathed after the collision. The man, Wondergem Jr. owned one of the race cars but not the car involved the crash.
Marcus Johnson said that the two fatalities were part of the crew looking after the cars so they had the right to stay in the pit area
The raceway of Maryville was hosting the Civil War Series of California Sprint Car on the opening day of its season.
The announcer of the race, Steven Blakesley who witnessed the accident from the stand, said the sprint cars were doing their warm up and doing the so-called hot laps about one hour prior to the race. One of the cars driven by Chase Johnson that was running more than 90 MPH was unable to negotiate a turn.
Blakesley believed that there must have been a mechanical problem as the car didn’t slow down. The car ran through an opening between the track and pit row, it crashed into an empty golf-style cart then proceeded running out into the view of the stands. The enthusiastic spectators were all stunned and mostly silent and not being able to comprehend what was happening.
The Petaluma High School at the north of San Francisco is proud of Chase Johnson who is a senior in the school who belongs to the fourth generation of race car drivers. He has two years experience driving on the track and hopes to make his stint at the car sprint circuit as a stepping stone toward a higher level like NASCAR.
Investigations are ongoing; it is being conducted by the Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol to determine what could have caused the crash. The Sheriff’s Department also functions as the county’s coroner and would be also to determine the official cause of death of the two victims.
Due to the wreck, Saturday’s race had been canceled but all others will continue as scheduled.
If race fans would recall, the same race track fatalities happened less than a month after a crash on the last lap of a race at Daytona International Speedway which injured at least 30 fans last Feb. 23. The victims were showered with large lump of rubble and even a tire. This resulted after a car drove straight into the fence that was supposed to protect the solid grandstands around the track.
In the 2009 NASCAR race at Talladega, the crowd was sprayed with debris while seven racing enthusiasts were injured when a race car was airlifted and landed upside-down into the front-stretch fence during the furious dash to the finish line.
Finally, in the 2010 Nation’s Hot Rod Association event held at Chandler, Ariz., one female spectator was killed by flying tire that was ejected during the crashing race at International Raceway of Firebird.
Car Accident victims may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering in addition to economic damages.
Accident victims have rights. If you were injured in a car accident, contact an experienced car accident lawyer now for free consultation. He will protect the rights of you and your loved ones. You may be entitled to financial compensation for economic damages, as well as pain and suffering.
Source: Fox News Com