Injured Daytona race fan recalls 'most horrifying feeling in the world'
As Whitney Turner traveled back home to Indiana on Tuesday with a broken leg, she said the memory of what happened at Daytona International Speedway will stay with her forever.
Turner, 33, of Tell City, Ind., said she sat only three seats away from where parts of Kyle Larson's car penetrated the catch fence during the last lap of Saturday's Drive4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race.
“When that car came around that fence, I thought I would never see my 5-year-old again,” she said. “It was the most horrifying feeling in the world.”
Debris from the crash shattered her right shinbone and sliced her Achilles tendon, she said. Hot motor oil burned her feet.
At least 27 other spectators suffered injuries from the crash, two of whom were critically injured. Seven patients remained hospitalized at Halifax Health Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon, and all were stable, said Byron Cogdell, hospital spokesman. One patient with a severe gash to his leg may be released Wednesday, a family member said.
Turner remembers lying on the ground only a few steps away from Larson's flaming engine. She couldn't walk with her injured leg and was terrified the motor would explode. She recalled screaming: “Please don't let me die,” as fellow race fans desperately gestured for medical help.
Turner said it was like a scene out of a horror movie, and she wants NASCAR to take a hard look at safety improvements to prevent it from happening again. Her ticket was for 12 rows up, but Turner said she sat on the front row when she learned seats were empty. Daytona Beach News Journal