NASCAR »

Fan dies after lightning strikes Pocono

A NASCAR fan died after a lightning storm struck Pocono Raceway just minutes after the Pennsylvania 400 race was red flagged. Nine others were also injured, one critically.
The severe electrical storm that rolled over Pocono Raceway shortly before 5pm local time and forced the early end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pennsylvania 400 race, also claimed one race fan's life, left another critical and sent eight others to hospital.

"Unfortunately, a member of our raceway family here, a fan, has passed away," said the president of the venue, Brandon Igdalsky. "On behalf of myself, the entire family and everybody here, a really heartfelt [condolences] that this happened."

Later, he added on Twitter: "My family and I are praying for all those that were involved in the lightning strikes. ... Difficult evening for all."

"We are deeply saddened that a fan has died and others were injured by lightning strikes following today's race at Pocono," added NASCAR spokesman David Higdon. "Our thoughts are with them as well as those affected by this unfortunate accident."

There were at least two direct lightning strikes that hit the area between the grandstand exits at turn 3 and one of the gates to the parking facilities. The ten fans leaving the Raceway after the early end of the NASCAR race were either hit directly by the initial strike or by related jolts from metallic objects in the parking lot.

"The visibility was very poor and all of a sudden [we] saw a bolt of lightning right in front of our windshield," eyewitness Kyle Manger from New Jersey told reporters. "When it became a little more visible, we saw two bodies next to a destroyed tent with people scrambling."

The spectator who died had been near his car when he was struck. He went into cardiac arrest and fellow fans attempted CPR until the paramedics arrived to transport him first to the track's medical facility and then to the Pocono Medical Center in nearby Stroudsburg, Pa., where he was declared dead. His identity was not made public.

Another fan was also reported to be in a critical condition. Three more were also moderately injured, while five others required only light treatment at the Raceway before being transported to local hospitals as a precaution for evaluation.

In total, it was estimated that 85,000 spectators had been watching the race, which had already been delayed by two hours because of drying operations following earlier rain fall. The race officials were always very aware that they were racing the arrival of the next storm front that was being shown on the local weather radar systems, and finally the race was called on lap 98 of 160 as the storm arrived.



Tagged as: weather , rain , red flag , storm , Pocono , lightning

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rain falls on pit road delaying the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 5, 2012 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Crew members push the #14 Office Depot Back to School Chevrolet, driven by Tony Stewart, back to the garage as rain falls during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 5, 2012 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford, and German Quiroga, driver of the #77 OtterBox Toyota, take the chequered flag during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado 250 on August 31, 2014 in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet, takes the green flag waved by Evander Holyfield to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford takes the chequered flag to win the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates with the chequered flag at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger takes the chequered flag to win at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon and Marcos Ambrose lead the field to the green flag at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #09 Stanley Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, and Joey Logano, driver of the #12 Snap-On Ford, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Nationwide Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 9, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.