Monday, May 24, 2010

Spectators Hurt in Crash at NH Track

RUMNEY, N.H. -- Two spectators were injured in a crash on Sunday night at a dirt track in Rumney, New Hampshire.

In what was described to Vermont Motorsports Magazine as a "freak accident" by one eye witness at Big Daddy's Speedbowl, the car of Robby Bodwell hit a wall and became airborne at the end of the backstretch. Bodwell's car then traveled up a rocky embankment in Turn 3 and struck two spectators, Harvey Kage, 67, and his son, 26 year-old Christopher Kage, causing broken bones and other injuries. Bodwell was uninjured, but was "upset" according to an Associated Press story.

The crash happened at around 10:00pm during a Sprint Cars of New England event. WMUR-TV of Manchester, N.H., reported that Harvey Kage was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchock Medical Center in Hanover, N.H., to treat a broken femur, while Christopher Kage was being treated at Speare Memorial Hospital in Plymouth, N.H., for scrapes and bruises.

Big Daddy's Speedbowl owner Mike Rivers said that Christopher Kage pushed his father out of the way just before the car hit. Around 15-20 spectators were standing in the area where the accident occured. There was no indication that Bodwell's car was in trouble before the crash. The racing program was suspended immediately following the incident.

Rivers purchased the facility -- formerly known as Rattlesnake Motordrome, Legion Speedway, and Pines Speedway -- and spent several months improving the track's safety features. Included in the improvements was a state-of-the-art catch fence system, although there was no fence in Turn 3 at the crash site.

Rivers did not respond to attempts by Vermont Motorsports Magazine to contact him on Monday.

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