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Two fans critically injured during NASCAR crash

11:27 PM, Feb 23, 2013   |    comments
Both a tire and Larson's engine reached the grandstand side of the catchfence in the 12-car wreck. Photo courtesy: Sam Sharp, USA Today
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Two fans are in critical condition, including one child, after a horrific crash on the final lap of the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday.

Twenty-eight people suffered some sort of injury. Fourteen were treated at the track, and 14 others were taken to hospitals.

Halifax Health spokesman Byron Cogdell said 12 people were brought in, seven for treatment from the crash and five for heat exhaustion and other issues.

Two of the seven were in critical condition, including one child. The other has life-threatening injuries because of head trauma.

Daytona Beach Police public information officer Jimmie Flynt said another six people were transported to Halifax Urgent Care in Port Orange for minor injuries, and one additional person was transported to Florida Memorial for minor injuries. 


NASCAR senior vice president of racing information Steve O'Donnell and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood made a statement at 7 p.m. ET but provided no further details on the fans' condition.

The speedway released a statement that read in part:

Following the incident, we responded appropriately according to our safety protocols and had emergency medical personnel at the incident immediately.

We transported 14 people off property and 14 were treated at our on-track care center.

An 11-car crash on the final lap coming into the trioval sent an engine into the catchfence where it burned, and a tire over the fence and into the stands along with a slew of debris.

Terry Huckaby's brother was one of those taken to Halifax Health. He said his brother Eddie Huckaby, 53, of Krum, Texas "had a pretty massive cut on his leg."

Eddie Huckaby was hit with a piece of metal about 3 feet long and 18 inches wide. He had surgery at Halifax Health and will be hospitalized for at least 48 hours.

"He's kind of upset because he's going to miss the (Daytona 500) race tomorrow," Terry said.

The brothers were sitting in the 11th row in the grandstands.

"When the car hit, debris went everywhere. Tires flying over our heads. It was like a war zone," Terry said.

"There was a wheel with a brake drum on it flying overhead and debris everywhere and smoke and people crying. It was kind of scary.

"We're really lucky. That could have been worse than it was.

"It was pretty chaotic."

He said his brother's leg was bleeding badly, but Terry used his belt to wrap as a tourniquet.

"I'm just thankful to God my 6-year-old granddaughter didn't come today, because she said, 'Paw-paw, it's too hot.' "

The brothers had planned to attend the entire Speedweeks, but Terry says out of respect to his brother he'll probably just watch the race at the hospital.

"I'd feel kind of guilty going over there (the track)."

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