Franklin County Community Gathers To Raise Money For Victims Of Deadly Race Track Accident
Posted October 19, 2003
Updated June 24, 2007
PILOT, N.C. — Two months after a deadly accident at a Franklin County race track, family and friends of the victims could be pointing fingers and placing blame. Instead, they have come together to raise money and show their support.
When a modified Jeep shot out of a mud pit at Five County Raceway, it forever changed the lives of dozens of people. Investigators said the throttle stuck as the Jeep tore through a crowd of spectators. Candace Brown was killed. Theresa Medlin was seriously hurt and just recently released from the hospital.
Saturday, Brown's and Medlin's friends and families did what they could to help. They chipped in to pay their bills.
People in Pilot can not forget that night. So, Saturday, they lined up to help the Browns and the Medlins at the Pilot Fire Department's fundraiser barbeque.
"There is no way to describe it, really, unless you've been through it," said Candace Brown's husband, Phillip. "All the family and friends -- I don't know if I could have made it without them."
Candace died saving the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Rachel.
"She's doing fine," Phillip said of Rachel. "Her mama saved her, so that means a lot."
Brown, who has been a Pilot firefighter for years, was so touched by the support that he even helped cook at Saturday's fundraiser.
"I've always been on the other end helping," he said. "Today's no different; I wanted to do my part."
Organizers fed the crowd of supporters with 2,000 pounds of potatoes, 1,000 chickens, 20 hogs and an endless supply of cake. They expected to feed 4,000 people -- proof that, in tragedy, this small town pulls together.
Everything used for the barbeque was donated -- the food, the equipment -- and even four bands donated their time. Organizers hoped to raise $25,000 for the two families.