Local News

One Killed, 18 Injured As Jeep Crashes Into Spectators At Race Track

Posted August 17, 2003

— One person was killed and 18 others hurt Saturday night after a mud-slinging truck crashed through a fence into a crowd at Five County Raceway in Zebulon.

According to Franklin County Sheriff Jerry Jones, four survivors sustained life-threatening injuries. The most seriously injured survivor was a small child who suffered head injuries.

Some of the injured were transported to Wake Med, and others were taken to Duke. Tommy Floyd, a firefighter who witnessed the crash, said two or three children were among the injured.

The names of the victims and the conditions of those hospitalized had not been released Sunday morning. Some of the injured were treated at the scene and not taken to hospitals, Jones said.

Witnesses said the vehicle, described as a modified Jeep with raised tires for competing on the muddy dirt track, churned out of a pit around 9:15 p.m. and plowed through a chain-link fence without slowing down.

The Jeep stopped on top of the chain-link fence.

"He was full throttle when he come out of that pit," Floyd said. "It was just mass hysteria."

The scene at the track about 25 miles east of Raleigh remained littered Sunday with crushed chairs and coolers.

Felton Jacobs worked at the track until this year. He wasn't there Saturday night but said bleachers where the accident occurred are about 10-15 feet from the track and are only separated from the track by the fence.

The mudsling events typically attract between 1,000 and 2,000 people, he said.

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