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Jeff Krosnoff and Gary Arvin Die in Car Wreck at Molson Indy Toronto

07/15/96

Driver Jeff Krosnoff and race marshal Gary Arvin died in a car wreck on Sunday, during the PPG Indy Car World Series race, the Molson Indy Toronto. A number of spectators sustained lacerations and other injuries when debris from the wreck flew into the crowd.

Krosnoff was negotiating turn 3 of the 1.784 mile temporary road course in Toronto when his Reynard-Toyota tangled with Swedish driver Stefan Johannson and Brazilian driver Andre Ribeiro. Krosnoff's car went airborne, spun and smashed into a retaining fence. His car disintegrated as it struck the fence multiple times showering track marshals Gary Arvin, Barbara Johnston and some spectators with debris. Arvin was also struck by a car part; he was killed.

Dr. Hugh Scully, medical director at the Molson Indy Toronto confirmed the deaths of both Krosnoff and Arvin. "Effectively," he said, "both of them were killed instantly. There was no suffering on the part of either of them."

The IndyCar safety team extracted Krosnoff from the remains of his car, and he was rushed to Western Hospital in Toronto by ambulance. Dr. Steve Olvey, IndyCar's director of medical affairs, said that Krosnoff was pronounced dead at 4:20 p.m. ET, the result of massive head injuries and other multiple fractures. All resuscitation attempts at the scene, failed; Krosnoff was in full traumatic arrest at the time the IndyCar safety crew arrived at the scene.

Emerson Fittipaldi, the fourth driver involved in the wreck, came upon the crash just after it happened. "I went to brake for Turn 3 and, suddenly, I saw an engine and transmission deposited in my right suspension," said Fittipaldi. "It was Krosnoff's car, which was upside down in the barrier. I pulled into the escape road and retired there. The scene at Turn 3 was chaotic. It is very sad."

None of the other drivers involved (Johansson, Ribeiro, Fittipaldi) were injured in the wreck. The second race marshal, Barbara Johnston, was treated and released from the hospital Sunday night.

The wreck happened in lap 93 of the 95 lap event, cutting the race short. Under the red flag, Adrian Fernandez was credited with a 1.950-second victory over Alex Zanardi.

Krosnoff, a 31-year-old from Tulsa, Oklahoma, joined the Arciero-Wells Racing team this year and ran in all 11 IndyCar events. Although he was a rookie to IndyCar racing, he came to it after competing in Japanese Formula 3000 for five years. He had also competed in the 24 Hours of LeMans on three occasions. Cal Wells III, co-owner of Arciero-Wells Racing said, "It's a tragic loss for the entire Arciero-Wells organization," said . "Jeff was an outstanding person as well as a race-car driver. He will be sorely missed."

Krosnoff's wreck was the second fatal accident to occur in Indy Car racing this season. Just before this year's Indy 500, Indy Racing League driver Scott Brayton was killed in a wreck.

Paul Dever -- The Auto Channel