August 6, 2012
Lightning kills fan after NASCAR race at Pocono
The Sports Xchange
One fan died and nine others were injured after a series of lightning strikes at Sunday’s Pennsylvania 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., multiple media outlets reported.
Pocono spokesman Bob Pleban told USA Today that an unidentified fan was declared dead upon arriving at Pocono Medical Center. Nine other fans were injured, one in critical condition, and were taken to the hospital as a result of the storm that caused the race to be halted after 98 laps.
“Our heartfelt thoughts and best wishes to those who were injured. And our condolences to the loved ones of the person who was deceased,” Pleban said.
According to track officials, the spectators were injured in the parking lot after the race. A fan told The Sporting News that he saw a lightning strike near the Turn 3 grandstands.
“The visibility was very poor and all of a sudden (I) saw a bolt of lightning right in front of our windshield,” Kyle Manger told the Sporting News. “When it became a little more visible, we saw two bodies next to a destroyed tent with people scrambling.”
Track officials had posted warnings the track’s Twitter page near the end of the race telling fans to “seek shelter as severe lightning and heavy winds are in our area.”
In 1983, two NASCAR fans were killed and six injured in a storm at Dover, Del.