13 spectators injured in wreck at Grand Prix of Houston

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KHOU.com and The Associated Press

Posted on October 6, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 6 at 10:20 PM

HOUSTON – Thirteen spectators were injured during a wreck on the final lap of the second race of the Grand Prix of Houston Sunday afternoon, officials said.

The race ended when Dario Franchitti’s car went airborne into the fence about halfway through the final lap at Reliant Park.

The Associated Press reported that the accident in Turn 5 happened when Franchitti made contact with Takuma Sato. Franchitti’s car launched over Sato’s and sailed into the fence, showering debris into the grandstand before Franchitti’s car came back onto the track.

E.J. Viso then hit Sato’s car.

Fan video sent to KHOU shows debris flying in the grandstand.

According to the Houston Fire Department, two of the 13 spectators that were injured were taken to the hospital in an unknown condition.

Franchitti was also taken to a hospital, but team owner Chip Ganassi said he was alert and complaining of a sore ankle and back.

After he was examined, doctors determined that he had a concussion, a spinal fracture that will require no surgery and a fracture to the right ankle, according to IndyCar officials. He will be kept overnight.

IndyCar said one series official was also taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Mi-Jack Promotions, promoter of the Grand Prix of Houston, Reliant Park and IndyCar issued the following joint statement:

“Following an accident that occurred on-track at the Grand Prix of Houston this afternoon our greatest concern is for our fans and participants."

Officials said that they are investigating the incident and do not have other details at this time.

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