Eyewitness: Daytona crash like a ‘war zone’
Daytona Beach, FL, United States (4E Sports) – An eyewitness compared to a “war zone” the crash that occurred during the homestretch of the Nationwide Series opening race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
“Stuff was flying everywhere,” Terry Huckaby, who was 11 rows away when Kyle Larson’s car careened into the front stretch catch fence, told ESPN.com.
“It was like you was in a war zone or something. Tires were flying by and smoke and everything else,” added Huckaby, whose younger brother Eddie was injured when a long piece of flying metal approximately three feet long and 18 inches wide gashed his left leg.
When he saw that his brother was injured, Huckaby, a plumber from Hendersonville, Tennessee, quickly ripped off his belt and wrapped it around the leg to stop blood gushing from a cut that went from his brother’s left hip to the knee.
The crash happened when leader Regan Smith tried to block Brad Keselowski as they race to the finish line, sending Larson’s car careening into the frontstretch catch fence.
The front half of the car was sheared off and the engine tore through the fence. A tire flew over the 22-foot tall fence and landed about 40 rows up.
Eddie, an engineer for Peterbilt Motors Company, was one of seven taken to Halifax Health less than a mile from the 2.5-mile track. Two fans were in critical condition, one with life-threatening trauma to the head.
“I’m just thankful to God my 6-year-old granddaughter didn’t come with me,” Terry said outside the hospital after visiting his brother, who underwent surgery to repair arteries and other damage to the leg.
Despite the incident, Terry said he’s willing to watch another racing event and hoping that others who were injured would be able to return for Daytona’s annual Fourth of July event.
“We’re not scared to come down here. My brother will be the first to tell you, ‘Hey, I’ll see you in July,’” said Terry.