Drag racer slams into spectators in Texas; 2 children killed

KERRVILLE (Texas) A driver lost control of a drag racing event at an airport in Texas and crashed into a crowd of people, killing two children and injuring eight others, authorities stated.
Police released a statement saying that a 6-year-old boy was killed and an 8 year-old died in Saturday's crash at Airport Race Wars 2 at Kerrville-Kerr County Airport. The event attracted thousands of people and saw drivers racing down a runway to compete for cash.

Kerville police stated that the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed onto parked cars. This caused injuries to spectators watching the races.

All of the injured victims were transported to different hospitals, with one woman aged 46 being listed as in critical condition. Authorities said that most of the injuries sustained aren't life-threatening. However, the condition of a 26 year-old male was not known. A 3-month-old girl and a boy aged 4 years were taken to the hospital for precautionary evaluations.

Authorities have yet to release the identities the two children killed in the incident that occurred about 60 miles (97 km) northwest of San Antonio.

Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau promoted the event as an action-packed, family-friendly day where fans could see the fastest drag cars compete to win over $8000 in total prizes.

Louis Amestoy, a freelance journalist, said that there were more than 3,500 people in attendance.

The race lasted one eighth mile (0.2 km) and was surrounded by water-filled barriers. Amestoy claimed that they did not extend beyond the finish line and provided no protection for spectators or cars, as they were slowing down towards the end.

In the absence of stands, spectators could reach the track within 15 feet (4.62 meters). Many watched the race from lawn chairs. Amestoy, a telephone interviewee with The Associated Press, stated that organizers reminded spectators to keep on the grass and not on the asphalt.

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Amestoy stated that the driver was close to the end of the strip, when the car turned off the track.


Bryan Gallion, Associated Press writer, contributed to this report in Roseland (New Jersey).