Major Crash at Missouri State Fair Races Injures Spectators
UPDATE: The Missouri State Highway Patrol has issued this news release concerning the crashes that occurred at the Missouri State Fair Speedway last night (August 19):
At approximately 8:15 p.m., on August 19, 2012, during a sanctioned sprint car event at the State Fair Speedway, a 15-year-old driver from Carrollton, Missouri, suffered serious injuries when his vehicle overturned several times while negotiating a curve during the race. He was transported by Air-Evac helicopter to University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri, for treatment.
At approximately 9 p.m. during an exhibition benefit race, a driver lost control of his vehicle as a result of a multiple vehicle crash during a heat race. His vehicle then traveled over a guardrail barrier and through a safety fence, then struck five spectators who were standing behind the fence in the infield/pit area. The vehicle was operated by Tyson Russell, 25, of Crocker, Missouri. He was not injured.
The Highway Patrol listed the following spectators as the injured:
- Mark C. Quisenberry, 57, of Columbia, Missouri, sustained serious injuries and was transported by Eagle 5 helicopter to University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri.
- Lela A. Wood, 34, of California, Missouri, sustained moderate injuries and was transported by Staff For Life helicopter to University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri.
- Jessalin A. Degonia, 27, of California, Missouri, sustained moderate injuries and was transported by ambulance to Bothwell Hospital in Sedalia, Missouri.
- Barry L. Smith, 46, of Florence, Missouri, and Archie L. Simpson, 67, of Columbia, Missouri, both sustained minor injuries. Both were treated and released at the scene.
UPDATE: The following video of the crash that involved several spectators was uploaded to YouTube by KRCG-13.
A car crash ended the Missouri State Fair tonight (August 19), during the Missouri State Fair races. There were two separate accidents that took place that required the Life Flight helicopters to come to the scene. Sgt. Collin Stosberg, the Public Information Officer for Troop A for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, reported that there was a serious accident that involved a racecar and spectators in the pits. Stosberg said, "A little after 9:00, we had a crash at the grandstand during the races. One of the race cars left the track, traveled into the pit area and struck five spectators."
Stosberg was not able to release names involved in the accident, but said the spectators involved that were said to be in serious condition were a 33-year old female from California, Missouri, a 27-year old female from California, Missouri, and a 57-year old male from Columbia, Missouri. There were also two minor injuries to a 67-year old male from Columbia and a 46-year old male from Columbia. Those with minor injuries were treated at the scene and released.
In addition to this accident, there was an earlier accident, involving a 15-year-old male according to Stosberg. "At 8:15 in a different race, one of the drivers lost control and the vehicle overturned several times. The 15-year-old white male was injured and Lifeflighted to Columbia."
The accident involving the 15-year-old driver occurred during a normal heat race, while the accident involving spectators occurred during the race for the benefit of the Special Olympics. Stosberg said that he thought having the emergency services on the grounds already really helped in getting injuries treated on scene. Stosberg commented further on the cooperation of the various emergency services on scene.
"Safety is our number one goal, especially at the Missouri State Fair. We take that all into consideration. Obviously there are dangers involved in racing. We did have law enforcement on scene, State Patrol, EMS, other law enforcement as well. I think that provided immediate assistance to the spectators that were injured. We were able to hopefully just provide overall assistance to the whole event. As sad as it is, we're just thankful more people weren't hurt."
The remaining races were cancelled after the crash involving the spectators on the infield.
KSIS will continue to keep up with the conditions of those involved.