Two pit crew members were among several people injured at Eagle Raceway on Saturday night when a car crashed into the pit area.
At about 6:30 p.m. at the end of a Hobby Stock heat race, a car driven by John Austin, 60, of Lincoln, had a malfunction that caused the throttle to become stuck, according to a news release from Cass County Sheriff William Brueggemann.
Austin's car left the track via the pit exit at a high-rate of speed and became airborne. The car then struck a parked race car and pushed it into an all-terrain vehicle, and those vehicles were pushed into a group of people and another parked race car.
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The collision caused 35-year-old Justin Vanderharr, of Lincoln, to become pinned underneath the last race car. Several people at the scene lifted the car to free Vanderharr, and he was transported by Alvo Rescue to Bryan West Campus with head and internal injuries.
Vanderharr had surgery at the hospital Saturday night and remained in critical condition Sunday morning, according to Eagle Raceway owner Roger Hadan.
Michael Ramsey, 55, of Bellevue, was also transported to Bryan West Campus by Eagle Rescue and was later released. Several others who were injured in the accident either refused treatment or were treated at area hospitals and released, according to Brueggemann. Medical helicopters were called but were unable to respond to the scene because of storms in the area.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Team Gullion, Team Hiatt and crew members," a post on the Eagle Raceway Facebook page said. "Please keep them in your prayers. Special thanks to the Four Corners Fire and Safety crew for your quick response and all you do."
The other races for the night were called off because of rain about 30 minutes after the accident.