Race fans remain hospitalized after NASCAR crash at Daytona International Speedway
Pileup leaves dozens of fans injured; 14 taken to hospital
Seven fans remain hospitalized two days after a horrific crash at Daytona International Speedway during a NASCAR race.
[LISTEN: Crash 911 | VIEW: Crash pics | Safety measures | READ: Fans react]
Steve Johnson, of Michigan, (see image above) was among the more than two dozen fans who were injured by flying debris in the 12-car pileup, which occurred Saturday night on the last lap of the Nationwide Series race.
A photo of Johnson shows him with a large scar over his left eye.
Johnson's wife, Gaylene Johnson, told Local 6 that she remembers seeing Tony Stewart, who won the race, near the finish line when she heard what sounded like an explosion.
"We both got hit by a large piece of metal and it knocked him completely over the back of his seat into the aisle behind us and knocked me back into my seat," Gaylene Johnson said. "That is all I remember at the moment."
Volusia County deputies on Monday released the 911 call depicting the aftermath of the fiery crash.
“There’s two seriously injured people here. We’ve been calling for paramedics and nobody showed up. There’s been a crash, and these people are really serious,” said a race fan who called 911 and provided his exact location at Daytona International Speedway. “We need help, big-time, quick.”
Officials continue to try to figure out if fans could have been better protected. More than two dozen spectators were hurt in the crash, which was captured on cellphone video (warning, content may be graphic) and sent debris into the grandstands.
"If there are opportunities to improve things, we will. Whether it's on-track product, whether it's safety, whether it's safety for the fans, safety for the drivers," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "So, I don't think either entity is sitting back. I think we're all looking at ways to keep getting better."
NASCAR and speedway officials will hash out the best way to keep spectators safe.
"I think we got very good safety protocols, we had a structural engineering firm come in to look at our fencing and based on their recommendation we installed a new fence," Chitwood said. "If you look at our 55 years in the business, we've got a pretty good track record."
The next big race at the speedway is the Coke Zero 400 in July.
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