08/05/12 One fan died and nine others were injured after a series of lightning strikes at Sunday's Pennsylvania 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., multiple media outlets reported.
Pocono spokesman Bob Pleban told USA Today that an unidentified fan was declared dead upon arriving at Pocono Medical Center. Nine other fans were injured, one in critical condition, and were taken to the hospital as a result of the storm that caused the race to be halted after 98 laps.
"Our heartfelt thoughts and best wishes to those who were injured. And our condolences to the loved ones of the person who was deceased," Pleban said.
According to track officials, the spectators were injured in the parking lot after the race. A fan told The Sporting News that he saw a lightning strike near the Turn 3 grandstands.
"The visibility was very poor and all of a sudden (I) saw a bolt of lightning right in front of our windshield," Kyle Manger told the Sporting News. "When it became a little more visible, we saw two bodies next to a destroyed tent with people scrambling."
08/05/12 (6:15 EDT): A Pocono Raceway spokesperson told reporters that three people were struck by lightning. Two were transported to a local hospital and a third was treated and released at the scene.
08/05/12 Two Nascar fans at the Pocono Raceway were hurt when lightning in the parking lot behind the grandstand. They were taken to the hospital. We're working to get information on their conditions. A third person was treated at the track.
A spokesman for the track estimated there were 85,000 fans at Sunday's race. It was called when the heavy rain started. Jeff Gordon, who was declared the winner with 98 0f 160 laps finished, said he feels for the victims. He also said he believes he knows which lightning bolt did the damage, according to AOL Sporting News.
"I'm pretty sure I know which one it was," Gordon said. "We were walking down pit road, the umbrellas weren't doing any good, there was a huge, huge crack from lightning. You could tell it was very close."
It's the third lightning strike in the last three days that has sent people to the hospital in our area.
Jeff Gordon was declared the winner of the race soon after the rain started.
Kyle Manger, a spectator from New Jersey, said he saw people hit by the lightning near the Turn 3 grandstands.
“Me and my friend just ran into our truck during all the nasty weather," Manger said. “The visibility was very poor and all of a sudden (I) saw a bolt of lightning right in front of our windshield.