|ESPN.com: Nationwide Series||[Print without images]|
“"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.'' The chaos began as a freight train of cars raced to the finish line in the Nationwide Series opener. A multicar incident was triggered when race leader Regan Smith tried to block Brad Keselowski, sending Kyle Larson's car careening into the frontstretch catch fence. The front half of the car was sheared off and the engine tore through the fence. A tire flew over the 22-foot tall fence and landed about 40 rows up. 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." Terry and Eddie have come to Daytona with their families almost every year since 1968 to see the "Great American Race" and visit Walt Disney World. They were attempting to go to every race -- Sprint Unlimited, Budweiser Duels, Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup -- during Speedweeks for the first time.
Stuff was flying everywhere. 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.” -- Eyewitness Terry Huckaby
|Emergency workers help injured spectators in the upper level of the front grandstand at Daytona International Speedway after a major wreck on the final lap of the Nationwide race.|