It’s the worst nightmare of racers and organizers alike. An out of control race car slamming into a spectator area. It happened on Saturday in Selmer Tennessee, at the Cars For Kids charity event. At the end of a parade, racers were to perform burnouts for the cheering fans on a closed highway lined with spectators. When it was Troy Chritchley’s turn, up came the revs and the smoke show started. Then things went wrong and he lost control of the car. The car left the roadway and hit a pole, sending bodies flying along the way. Reports vary from 6 to 7 deaths and some 18 or so injuries. So why did this tragedy occur?
Larry Price, the founder of Cars for Kids, said he has been staging this event for 18 years in Selmer, and drivers always do burnouts at the end of the parade. There had been no accidents in the past, he said.
“We’re not racing,” Price said. “We’re just doing little old burnouts, revving the motors up, stuff like that.”
Just doing little old burnouts! Anybody who has ever watched drag racing knows how easily a car can get out of hand. A flat tire, a broken axle, heck even a ripple in the pavement can send full on drag car on a wild ride. In this instance, it was on a public road with absolutely no safety barriers between the cars and the fans.
For an organization with a mandate to help kids, it is most certainly run by some kingsize dumbasses! Beyond the organizers, the so called professional racers involved should have known better than to expose people to such danger. You can never remove all the dangers from motorsport, but this wasn’t motorsport. This was just showing off.
It’s important to remember that lives were lost due to stupidity. Our thoughts go out the families of the young people who died and to those who are still recovering in hospital.