KERRVILLE, Texas — A driver lost control during a Texas drag racing event on an airport runway and slammed into a crowd of spectators, killing two children and injuring eight other people, authorities said.
A 6-year-old boy and an 8-year-old boy were killed in the crash Saturday afternoon at an event called “Airport Race Wars 2” at the Kerrville-Kerr County Airport, police said in a news release. The event attracted thousands of people and saw drivers racing down the runway to win cash.
The driver “lost control and left the runway, crashing into parked vehicles and striking spectators who were observing the races,” Kerrville police said.
The victims of injuries were taken to several hospitals. A 46-year old woman was also admitted. She is currently listed as being in critical condition. Authorities said that most of the injuries sustained were not life-threatening. However, the 26-year old man’s condition was still unknown. For precautionary evaluations, a 4-year-old boy was taken to the hospital and a three-month-old girl was also admitted.
Two children were shot to death at an event that took place about 60 miles (97km) southwest of San Antonio. Authorities are yet not to release their identities.
The Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website promoted the event as an “action packed, family-friendly day” in which fans could watch the “fastest drag cars compete for over $8000 in total prizes.”
Louis Amestoy (a freelance journalist) said that more than 3,500 people attended the event.
A course of water-filled barriers and obstacle material lined the race route, which was one eighth mile long (0.2 km). But Amestoy said they didn’t extend past the finish line, leaving no protection between spectators and cars as they were slowing down at the end of the race.
The track was only about 15 feet (3.66 meters) from spectators. Many people watched the race in lawn chairs, as there were no stands. Amestoy said that organizers reminded everyone to remain on grass, and away from asphalt.
Amestoy stated that the driver was close to the end of the strip, when the car turned off the track.
Bryan Gallion (Associated Press) contributed this report to Roseland New Jersey.