CERRVILL, TX. According to authorities, the driver lost control during a drag racing competition in Texas on an airport runway and crashed into a crowd of spectators, killing two children and injuring eight others.
A six-year-old boy and an eight-year-old boy died in a crash Saturday afternoon at an event called Airport Wars 2 at the Kerrville-Kerr County airport, police said in a press release. The organized event was attended by thousands of drivers, featuring drivers accelerating down the runway as they fought for money.
According to the Kerrville police, the driver “lost control and left the runway, crashing into parked cars and hitting spectators watching the races.”
The victims were taken to various hospitals, including a 46-year-old woman who was in critical condition. The authorities said most of the other injuries were not life-threatening, although the condition of the 26-year-old man was unknown. A 4-year-old boy and a 3-month-old girl were taken to the hospital for a routine check-up.
Authorities have not released the identity of the two children killed in the event about 60 miles northwest of San Antonio.
The Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau touted the event as “an eventful family day,” during which fans watched “the fastest drag cars compete for over $ 8,000 in total prizes.”
More than 3,500 people attended the event, according to Louis Amestoy, an independent journalist who attended the event.
The race lasted one eighth of a mile, and the track was lined with plastic barriers filled with water. But Amestoy said they did not cross the finish line, leaving no protection between spectators and cars as they slowed down at the end of the race.
Spectators could approach the track up to about 15 feet, and many watched the race from deck chairs in the absence of the stands. The organizers reminded people to stay on the grass and not on the pavement, Amestoy told the Associated Press in a telephone interview.
The driver was approaching the end of the lane when the car veered off course, Amestoy said.
Associated Press author Brian Gallion contributed to this report from Roseland, New Jersey.