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Two die in California race car crash
March 18, 2013
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CALIFORNIA: A race car struck and killed a teenage boy and a man at a northern California speedway during warm-up laps on Saturday, and authorities are investigating what led to the fatal mishap, a sheriff’s official said.

The 14-year-old boy and 68-year-old man were standing in the maintenance pit area alongside the dirt track of a sprint-car race at Marysville Raceway Park, about 100 miles northeast of San Francisco, said Yuba County Sheriff’s Captain Ron Johnson.

“One of the cars left the track and drove into the pit area,” Johnson said, adding that it remained unclear whether the driver exited the track because he was done with his warm-up or lost control of his car due to mechanical problems.

The car ended up striking the teenager and the man who were “standing basically next to each other,” Johnson said.

The man died at the scene and the teenager was pronounced dead at a local hospital, Johnson said. Their names have not been released.

A half-dozen racers were performing their warm-up laps at the time of the incident, police said.

The two victims were “both legitimately in the pit area (and) were associated with race-driving teams,” Johnson said.

Neither the driver nor anyone else was injured, police said.

The dirt-track race was scheduled as the first round of this year’s California Sprint Car Civil War Series, according to a statement from race organisers sent out before the event.

The compact, high-horsepower cars in the racing series are equipped with a metal wing mounted on top the roll cage. Drivers compete for thousands of dollars in prize money, the statement said.

Marysville Raceway Park said in a recorded phone message that the Saturday evening races had been cancelled. Event organisers could not be reached for comment.

Another accident tool place at Pennsylvania , a bus carrying a university women’s lacrosse team crashed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Saturday, killing the driver and the team’s pregnant coach, school officials said.

In addition to the driver, the bus was carrying 23 students and three coaches from Seton Hill University, a Catholic school in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, turnpike spokesman Bill Capone said.

The bus was near the Carlisle interchange in central Pennsylvania when it veered off the road, crashed through a fence and slammed into a tree, killing the driver, he said.

Three passengers were flown to Penn State Hershey Medical Centre, where one of them died, hospital spokeswoman Danielle Ran said.

“Seton Hill University has learned that the university’s head women’s lacrosse coach, Kristina Quigley, died of injuries sustained in the crash. Quigley was pregnant, and her unborn baby boy died as a result of the crash as well,” school spokeswoman Kary Coleman said in a statement.

Agencies

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