Fan dies at NHRA raceUPDATE A woman attending Sunday's Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway died after being struck by a tire from Antron Brown's NHRA Top Fuel dragster. The unidentified female was transported by helicopter to Good Samaritan Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
"You could see the tire flip and he started flipping over," Ron Derosett said. "He hit the wall."
Video taken at the event shows the car's left rear wheel break away as the car careens out of control.
Amazingly, Brown was not harmed in the crash.
While cameras stay on the car continuing down the track, the wheel that broke free bounced over several barriers and hit the woman.
Witnesses say she was in a mobility scooter, near a mobile home not even watching the racing.
"I saw the car on the rail, the tire fly off, the explosion," Shannon Jimenez described. "It was something that...Oh my God, I almost cried."
02/21/10 A woman attending Sunday's Arizona Nationals at Firebird International Raceway was seriously injured after being struck by debris from Antron Brown's NHRA Top Fuel car.
The NHRA announced that a female attending the event received serious injuries after being struck by debris from the incident. She was transported by helicopter to Good Samaritan Medical Center for treatment and NHRA officials are continuing to investigate the incident.
Brown's 8,000-horsepower dragster appeared to lose power from a cylinder shortly after accelerating from the starting line in a first-round race against Troy Buff. The left-rear wheel and tire came off, and the car flipped onto its right side. It slid across the track and hit and climbed the left-lane retaining wall. There was a flash of flame from spilled fuel as the car came to a stop. zzzz
The driver climbed out and was checked by NHRA Safety Safari personnel. Team owner Don Schumacher and teammate Cory McClenathan came to the scene and hugged Brown. Brown returned to his pit area with tears welled-up in his eyes, although it's not known if he was aware of the woman's injury.
"It felt like the back end just dropped out and the car started pitching end-over-end," said Brown, who was examined and released from Chandler Regional Medical Center. "At that point, I was upside down, and in my mind, things were going crazy. I was just hoping I didn't go into Troy or into the other lane.
"The next thing I knew, I hit the wall. I saw a little burst of flame come around my head, and I saw sparks. The Safety Safari guy was right there, and the next thing I knew somebody was trying to help pull me out of the race car. Thanks to the Safety Safari. All the guys at the track did an awesome job. It was a crazy ride."
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