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Investigation under way into crash at New Paris Speedway that sent 6 race fans to hospital

July 01, 2012|WSBT-TV Report
  • Track officials and emergency personnel survey damage from a big crash at the New Paris Speedway Saturday night. (Photo provided by an anonymous spectator)
Track officials and emergency personnel survey damage from a big crash at the New Paris Speedway Saturday night. (Photo provided by an anonymous spectator)

NEW PARIS – We're learning more about a scary ending to an exciting evening at the race track in New Paris Saturday night.

Just before midnight, a stock car hit a wall at the New Paris Speedway, injuring 6 spectators.

Rick Rolston is the head of New Paris EMS and says the debris from the crash flew into the stands, causing the injuries. All 6 victims were taken to IU Health Goshen Hospital, and according to Speedway spokesman Michael Rife, all were treated and released.

Rife says the injuries were a combination of people being hit by debris and from the 3-feet wall.

Norma Jean Howard was in the crowd and e-mailed WSBT, saying “there was so much debris flying that at least 6 ambulances were dispatched to take care of the injured.”

Two people spoke anonymously with WSBT reporter Ed Ernstes. One woman said she saw a lot of sparks, then lots of yelling, and then things got pretty chaotic.

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Another race fan said: "I was sitting by the wall, the two cars collided. One car hit the wall. The other went airborne then drove into the wall. The wall collapsed. That sent concrete flying into the grandstand."

WSBT corresponded by e-mail with another person at Saturday night's races but did not want his name used. "The track is in bad shape, and it was only a matter of time until someone got hurt," said the race fan. "The track has become quite an eyesore for the area. Repairs need done soon."

He said the wall along County Road 46 is cracked in numerous areas and is "leaning fairly bad."

Officers from the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department were at the track on Sunday to take a report and begin an investigation.


Despite Saturday night's crash, Rife says the New Paris Speedway is going to have fireworks at the track after a night of racing this Tuesday.

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