Sprint car crashes into pit area, kills two at Northern California track
Marysville, CA, United States (4E Sports) – A racing event at Marysville Raceway Park turned tragic Saturday after a sprint car went out of control and careened at high speed over a wall and into the pit area, killing two spectators.
The crash occurred around 6:04 p.m. during warmup laps for the first race of this year’s California Sprint Car Civil War Series. Due to the incident, organizers cancelled the race.
According to the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department, a 68-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene while a 14-year-old was pronounced dead later at Rideout Memorial Hospital.
Sheriff’s Capt. Ron Johnson, however, said the names of the victims were not immediately known.
Marysville track promoter Paul Hawes confirmed the two people who were killed belong to the driver’s family and crew, but he also declined to identify them.
Track announcer Steven Blakesley told ABC News that the 14-year-old was the driver’s cousin and the older victim owned several race cars.
The driver of the wayward car, identified as 17-year-old Chase Johnson, was unharmed.
Johnson, a high school senior from Petaluma, has been in more than 500 races, beginning at age 4, according to his website.
Hawes said the driver lost control in the first turn, went over a retaining wall and slid 100 feet along a K-rail barrier before hitting the victims. No one else was reported injured.
Authorities were uncertain late Saturday what caused the crash but Blakesley said that the car may have had mechanical problems because it did not slow down.
Marysville Raceway Park is a quarter-mile banked clay oval a mile east of Marysville near the town of Linda.