A horrific Texas race car crash killed two young boys and left five in serious condition on Saturday.
According to The Associated Press, the Kerrville-Kerr County Airport hosted “Airport Race Wars 2,” a drag racing event, when the tragic accident happened.
One witness reported to NBC San Antonio that a Chevy Camaro Cateye and a Ford Mustang Foxbody when the Mustang lost control and spun sideways.
The driver slammed into a crowd of people around 3:20 p.m. Saturday. Police said the driver crashed into parked vehicles after leaving the runway.
Several first responders and at least three helicopters arrived to help victims soon after the event.
The car killed a 6-year-old boy and an 8-year-old boy. Five others, including a 46-year-old woman, were at the hospital in critical condition.
Included in that group was the 34-year-old driver.
Other injuries were not life-threatening, but a 26-year-old man’s condition was unavailable. Officials said emergency personnel took a four-year-old boy and 3-month-old girl to the hospital as a precaution.
A CBS San Antonio reporter tweeted that four critical people went to San Antonio hospitals, and one person went to Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville.
Race Billed As A “Family-Friendly Day”
The organized drag-racing event took place at the airport about 60 miles from San Antonio.
The first “Airport Race Wars” event happened in March with 150 vehicles and 3,000 spectators that day.
Freelance journalist Louis Amestoy told the Associated Press about 3,500 attended to see drag racers battle for over $8,000 in total prizes on Saturday.
Cars raced on an eight-of-a-mile track with water-filled plastic barriers along the course. Amestoy said the water walls did not go past the finish line, leaving spectators vulnerable as cars slowed at the end of the race.
The freelance journalist said fans were limited to the grass and banned from the asphalt outside the stands. They could get within 15 feet of the track to watch races.
Flyin’ Diesel Performance owner Ross Dunagan organized the event with community leaders. They got permission from the Federal Aviation Administration in December.
Nev. Airplane Race Shares Tragedy
Eleven people died and 69 injured at a Reno, Nev. airplane race in 2011.
As a race ended, pilot Jimmy Leeward’s P-51 Mustang crashed in front of a spectator area. The Galloping Ghost plane had lost a control tab and rose in the air before plunging straight down to the ground. There was no fire.
The plane hit the ground at over 400 miles per hour directly in front of the grandstands.
The following year, the Federal Aviation Administration made several recommendations for future air races at the airport. Once included making the course design and layout further away from the spectator stands.