NASCAR: Scores of fans injured departing 'The Winston'

21 May 2000

By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel

CHARLOTTE, NC : More than 90 NASCAR Winston Cup fans were injured as they departed "The Winston" event at Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday night. A concrete walkway that crossed a four-lane highway collapsed, loaded with pedestrians. Thirteen spectators are in critical condition.

The walkway was 15 feet above the ground. A 30-foot section fell into the south land of U.S. highway 29. The tragedy occurred around 11:15 p.m. as fans were returning to a parking lot after leaving the track.

Many of the victims involved in the accident had to be airlifted to nearby hospitals in Charlotte and Concord. According to hospital officials, the injuries ranged from bruises to broken bones and spinal injuries.

"We don't know the conditions of all the people injured," said track president H.A. Wheeler. "There were some (fans) injured in a minor way and we had some, obviously, injured in a major way but we don't know the total extent of that."

The walkway was built in 1995 in an effort to help with pedestrian traffic at the popular NASCAR events at the track.

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