Daytona eyewitness says it was like a war zone
Terry Huckaby was 11 rows up from the frontstretch fence at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday when a long piece of flying metal gashed his brother's left leg.
The plumber from Hendersonville, Tenn., quickly ripped off his belt and wrapped it around the leg to stop blood gushing from a cut that went from his brother's left hip to the knee.
As he stepped back to let track emergency workers take care of his brother, 53-year-old Eddie Huckaby of Krum, Texas, Terry was overwhelmed by the chaos.
"Stuff was flying everywhere," Terry told ESPN. "It was like you was in a war zone or something. Tires were flying by and smoke and everything else.
"When I say war zone, there was smoke from a motor. You've got to realize a motor was sitting in the stands. A wheel -- I don't mean a tire -- a wheel with a hub hanging onto it and debris everywhere ... and smoke and people upset. It was kind of scary.''
Eddie, an engineer for Peterbilt Motors Company, was one of seven taken to Halifax Health less than a mile from the 2.5-mile track. Two fans were in critical condition, one with life-threatening trauma to the head.
"I'm just thankful to God my 6-year-old granddaughter didn't come with me," Terry said outside the hospital after visiting his brother, who underwent surgery to repair arteries and other damage to the leg. "She said, 'Papa, it's too hot.' "
Terry said the metal that struck his brother was approximately 3 feet long, 18 inches wide and a quarter-inch thick. He doesn't know what made him think of turning his belt into a makeshift tourniquet.
"I'm a plumber," said Terry, still wearing a DIS cap. "I didn't know what to do. When you see your brother there and blood gushing out of his leg, what do they say? Instincts kick in?
"We're really lucky. That could have been a lot worse than it was."