A race car killed 2 people at a track in California on Saturday night. The victims were a 14-year-old boy and a 68-year-old man.
The race car veered into pit row and ran into the two victims. The pair were standing next to each other at the time. The two were affiliated with one of the cars or drivers involved in the race.
No one else was injured in the incident, including the car’s 17-year-old driver.
Yuba County Sheriff’s Captain Ron Johnson announced that the man was pronounced dead at the scene, while the boy was declared dead either at the hospital or on the way there.
The deadly crash happened at Marysville Raceway Park, which is about 40 miles north of Sacramento. The track was hosting the California Sprint Car Civil War Series on its opening day.
Steven Blakesley, the race’s announcer, explained that the cars were doing “hot laps” to warm up before the race when driver Chase Johnson was unable to make a turn. The car was going about 90 mph when it ran through a gap between the track and pit row.
The race car killed two people when it hit an empty golf cart and ran out of the view of the stands. Blakesley recalled the crowd going silent after the car disappeared. He recalled seeing CPR being performed on two people before a body was covered up and crime scene tape was erected.
Sprint car racing is done on both paved and dirt tracks and is often seen as a gateway to bigger divisions, like NASCAR. Several NASCAR drivers, including Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne, got their start on dirt tracks. The cars are compact and strangely shaped. The driver whose car killed two people Saturday started at the age of 15.
Johnson is a senior at Petaluma High School near San Francisco and is a fourth-generation race car driver. There was no word on his mental condition following the accident. The Sheriff’s Department is expected to release the official cause of death and names of the two people who died when Johnson’s race car hit them.