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Tragedy strikes at Lorain County Speedway

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Tragedy strikes at Lorain County Speedway
Jul 24, 2001, 11:45 PM

On Saturday, July 21, two late-model cars collided and went into the grandstands at the Lorain County Speedway track located near Amherst, Ohio. One spectator, Virginia Wyleth, was fatally injured and at least 13 others were injured. The accident ...

On Saturday, July 21, two late-model cars collided and went into the grandstands at the Lorain County Speedway track located near Amherst, Ohio. One spectator, Virginia Wyleth, was fatally injured and at least 13 others were injured. The accident happened at approximately 11:45 p.m. EDT, according to a Lorain County Sheriff.

Four of the injured spectators were flown by life-support helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, about 40 miles east of the Lorain County Speedway. According to a hospital nursing surpervisor, Wyleth, 65, sustained multiple injuries and was pronounced dead on arrival. No other details about Wyleth have been released at this time.

The other three spectators at the MetroHealth Medical Center are: Ivan Zirkle, 69, Avon, in stable condition with a back injury. Jacob Webster, 19, hometown unknown, in stable condition with a leg injury. Kathy Williams, 45, Medina, in stable condition with a leg injury.

According to Kathy Williams: "It happened so quick. I didn't know what happened until I was pinned under the car. I was looking the other way when it hit. Everybody was scared. They were trying to get to me and get me out from under the fender."

At least eight other spectators were treated at local hospitals according to the Lorain County Sheriffs and hospital spokespersons. All but one, Kimberly Jones, were treated and released from Oberlin Medical Center, Community Health Parners and Elyria Memorial Regional Medical Center. Jones, 14, Grafton, was in fair condition Sunday at Community Health Partners in Lorain with leg injuries.

"Two of the cars accelerated and bumped and the drivers lost control, went over a guard rail, took out a fence and hit a set of stands," Lorain Country Sheriff's Captain Jim Drozdowski said. A communications officer for the Lorain County Sheriff Department, Claudia Figueroa, stated that the investigation was suspended at 5 a.m. EDT Sunday and would likely resume Monday.

A Speedway official and the Lorain County Sheriffs stated that neither of the two drivers where seriously injured in the accident. Both were treated and released by the track's medical personnel at the scene. Neither driver has been named at this time.

Further updates as they become available

-Motorsport.com

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Series NASCAR
Teams Williams