24 October 2021

Two children killed as drag racer crashes into spectators

24 October 2021

Two children were killed and eight other people injured when a driver lost control during a drag racing event and slammed into a crowd of spectators, authorities in the US said.

A six-year-old boy and another aged eight died in the incident at the Airport Race Wars 2 event at Kerrville-Kerr County Airport in Texas, police said in a news release.

The organised event was attended by thousands and involved drivers speeding down a runway as they competed for 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 injured were taken to various hospitals and included a 46-year-old woman who was said to be in a critical condition.

The majority of the other injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, although the condition of a 26-year-old man was unknown, authorities said.

A four-year-old boy and a three-month-old girl were taken to a hospital for precautionary examinations.

The Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website promoted the event, about 60 miles north-west of San Antonio, as an “action-packed, family-friendly day” in which fans could watch the “fastest drag cars compete for over 8,000 dollars in total prizes”.

Upwards of 3,500 people were in attendance, according to Louis Amestoy, a freelance journalist who was at the event.

The race was an eighth of a mile (0.2km) long, and water-filled plastic barriers lined the course. But Mr Amestoy said they did not extend past the finish line, leaving no protection between spectators and cars as they were slowing down at the end of the race.

Spectators could get within about 15ft of the track, and many watched the race from garden chairs in the absence of stands.

Organisers reminded people to stay on the grass and off the asphalt, Mr Amestoy told the Associated Press.

The driver was nearing the end of the strip when the car veered off course, he added.

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