A HORRIFYING crash on the last lap of a race at Daytona International Speedway injured at least 30 fans on Saturday.
The victims were sprayed with large chunks of debris – including a tyre – after newcomer Kyle Larson’s machine hit fencing that is designed to protect the massive grandstands lining Nascar’s most famous track.
“I love the sport,” said Shannan Devine, who witnessed the carnage from her 19th-row seat, about 250 ft away. “But no-one wants to get hurt over it.”
The fencing served its primary purpose, catapulting what was left of Larson’s car back on to the track. But it did not keep potentially lethal shards from flying into the stands.
“There was absolute shock,” Ms Devine said. “People were saying: ‘I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it. I’ve never seen this happen, I’ve never seen this happen. Did the car go through the fence?’ It was just shock and awe. Grown men were reaching out and grabbing someone, saying: ‘Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!’ It was just disbelief, absolute disbelief.”
The most tragic incident occurred during the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans, when two cars collided near the main stands. The wreck sent debris hurtling into the crowd, while one of the cars flipped upside down and exploded in a giant fireball. Eighty-three spectators were killed.