A spectacular accident moments after the start of a rain-delayed Indianapolis 500 Motor Car race on Monday (28 May), followed by a second downpour, forced the postponement of the event until the following day.
GV Start of race ZOOM IN TO cars crashing
CU Driver of crashed car in burning wreckage
GV Rescue workers at scene of crash
CU & GV Rescue workers around car
Initials SGM/0318 SGM/0306
SPORT: MOTOR RACING
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Background: A spectacular accident moments after the start of a rain-delayed Indianapolis 500 Motor Car race on Monday (28 May), followed by a second downpour, forced the postponement of the event until the following day.
Twenty-five year old driver David (Salt) Walther was critically injured when, moments after the start, his car hit the crash barrier, skidded into another car, burst into flames and became temporarily airborne. The car landed upside down, with Walther trapped beneath it. He suffered burns over 40% of his body, and was taken by helicopter to the Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where he was reported to be in a critical condition.
Six other cars directly behind piled into one another, while trying to avoid Walther's car, but all the drivers escaped injury. The situation was potentially more dangerous, since it was the start of the race, and all the cars had full loads of fuel.
Burning wreckage flew into the crowd, and nine spectators were injured, including two girls. They were also taken to hospital suffering from severe burns.
Officials at the track were unable to explain why the crash had occurred, but because of the way Walther's car spun, they believed that something had broken in its rear end. Fellow driver Mike Moseley criticised race officials for starting the race, when, in his opinion, the cars were not properly aligned.