Daytona, Florida NASCAR Accident Sends 33 Spectators to the Hospital

February 28, 2013

By Elaina Robbins on February 28, 2013 10:21 AM |

A Daytona, Florida NASCAR accident did not hurt any drivers, but it did send 33 spectators to the hospital Saturday, news sources report. The accident occurred at the Daytona International Speedway during a NASCAR race. Debris from a pileup on the track flew into the spectator stands, injuring at least 33 people. Six victims sustained critical injuries and were taken to a nearby hospital. It is currently unclear whether any of the victims will file for damages.

According to reports, the accident occurred around noon Saturday at the Daytona International Speedway. The speedway is a tri-oval track about 2.5 miles long with limited seating around a small portion of the track. On Saturday, the track played host to a NASCAR race, which featured famous racers such as Tony Stewart, Kyle Larson, Regan Smith, and Brad Keselowski. Stewart won the race, but chose not to celebrate his victory because of the accident and resulting injuries. "We've always known since racing was started that this is a dangerous sport, but it's hard," Stewart said. "It's hard when the fans get caught up in it."

Moments before the crash, Regan Smith was leading in the race. Smith reportedly attempted to block Brad Keselowski from passing him. The block caused Keselowski's car to turn sideways and collide with the track's wall. Ten other vehicles then crashed into the first car and each other, creating a massive pileup. According to reports, one vehicle (Kyle Larson's) went airborne and crashed into the track's fence during the pileup. Debris from the crashes rained down on the stands as far up as 45 rows of seats.

Paramedics rushed to the stands and began treating spectators who were injured by the debris. "We transported 14 people off property and treated 14 at our on-track care center," the president of the speedway told reporters. Paramedics also took at least six people who sustained critical injuries in the wreckage to the Halifax Medical Center. Exact details regarding each victim's condition was not immediately available following the crash. Larson's walked away from the crash uninjured.

Police are now investigating the accident and it is unclear whether there will be any lawsuits. Officials are likely inspecting the track's fence to check if it was up to safety measures and, if possibly not, whether the injuries could have been less severe or avoided altogether.

In other accident-related news, Marie Yvonne Dorelien was killed in a Delray Beach accident on Thursday, reports say. Dorelien, 65, was crossing the street when she was struck by a car; paramedics took her to the hospital, where she later died. Information regarding the driver's identity was not available following the accident, but he has not been charged with a crime. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine the exact details of the accident.

According to reports, the accident occurred around 6:30 p.m. on Congress Avenue. Dorelien was crossing the street but was not using a crosswalk when a 1993 gray Chevrolet Camaro ran her over. Paramedics arrived on the scene and transported Dorelien to the Delray Beach Medical Center, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

Sources: 2.26.13 Daytona NASCAR Accident.pdf, 2.26.13 Dorelien Collision.pdf.