Injured Race Fan Sues NASCAR
Last July at the Daytona International Speedway, the NASCAR race being held there ended in a spectacular fireball. Right as race leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. crossed the finish line, a massive pileup behind him wrecked several cars. One of cars with the worst damage was driven by Austin Dillon, whose car was actually thrown from the bottom of the track up into the “catch fence” that tries to protect the crowd from flying debris in accidents like this. The fence tossed the car into the infield onto its roof, where it was hit once again before coming to a stop next to its engine. NASCAR fans might deny it, but they love crashes, and that one was certainly an impressive one.
While the fence kept the car from flying into the stands, several pieces of shrapnel still landed in the stands. According to reports, five members of the crowd were injured, with one of them needing to go to the hospital for treatment. One of the fans, William Fulton, is now suing the Daytona International Speedway, its managing company, and NASCAR, claiming that the catch fence’s failure to stop the debris was a case of negligence.
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The suit did not state the full injuries suffered by the fan, but merely that they had not yet recovered. We wonder how far this case will go in court, however. When baseball fans visit ballparks, they accept the risk of a baseball or bat coming into the crowd and striking someone. Fulton was sitting in the sixth row, fairly close to cars driving very quickly around a track. The catch fence did stop the car and larger bits of debris from coming towards spectators, and the large gap between the crowd and the fence also helped. While it’s unfortunate that Mr. Fulton was injured, NASCAR can only do so much to protect attendees while still letting them see the race with their own eyes. Perhaps Fulton and NASCAR can come to an understanding while the race organization works towards even safer tracks.
News Source: Black Flag/Jalopnik