Personal Injury Thoughts On The Daytona 500 Crash, Part 1
It has been several weeks since one of the worst sporting event disasters in recent history occurred on February 24. During the last lap of the Daytona 500, a driver lost control and caused a 12-car pileup. The crash launched cars and debris off of the track - injuring around 30 spectators.
This crash is forcing a hard look at NASCAR racing in several ways. In this introduction to our four-part series on the February crash, we will give an overview of what happened. Check back soon for discussions on the issues that will pop up in future lawsuits involving this crash as well as some thoughts on what NASCAR and similar venues should to prevent future injuries.
After 499 laps, the crash occurred right before the end of the high-profile race. One driver tried to block another car and wound up hitting the wall instead. This led to a massive pile-up that involved 12 racecars. The force of the impact cut through a safety barrier - exposing spectators to injuries. Pieces of debris flew into the grandstand. An entire car wheel landed in the ninth row while other metal pieces traveled all the way to the upper deck.
Twenty-eight fans suffered injuries, including at least one small child. Some of the wounds were catastrophic injuries and many spectators required hospital treatment.
This is not the first crash to affect spectators at American racing events. In 2009, another wreck hurt seven spectators at Florida's Talladega Superspeedway. Overall, 46 people died while watching races between 1990 and 2010. Many of these injuries involved flying tires.
Check back later for further coverage of this wreck.
Sources: Reuters, "Lawyers weigh possible legal fallout of Daytona crash," Casey Sullivan, Feb. 25, 2013; Charlotte Observer, "Daytona crash could trigger track changes to protect NASCAR spectators," Jim Utter, Feb. 25, 2013