Six Spectators Killed, Twenty Injured in Drag Racing Stunt

Six Spectators Killed, Twenty Injured in Drag Racing Stunt

Selmer, Tennessee was the site of a horrific car accident Saturday, when a drag-racing car careened into a crowd lining the public highway where a charity car exhibition was being held. Apparently the car's driver lost control as he was doing an "exhibition burnout" — when a drag racer spins the car's tires to make them heat up and smoke — and his car sped into the crowd, killing six people and injuring 20 others. The driver, a professional drag racer, was unhurt.

Cars for Kids Charity Event

An amateur video of the accident showed the car's engine revving and the vehicle speeding down state Highway 64; after a few hundred feet, the car skidded off the road, into the crowd. There was no guardrail along the part of the highway where the crash occurred, but survivors noted that a guardrail wouldn't have stopped the speeding car. Another experienced drag racer noted that the public highway was not an appropriate or safe place to do burnouts.

Driver Lost Control

The accident came at the end of the annual Cars for Kids charity event, which has been held for the past 18 years without incident. The charity's organizer, Larry Price, said that the event has always included "burnouts" at the end of the parade of cars. About 50,000 people were expected at the weekend-long event this year. Price noted that most of the professional racers at the event have done the burnouts for less than 50 feet, but this driver, Troy Warren Critchley, went much farther before losing control. After Saturday's accident, Price said that he hoped to keep the Cars for Kids charity going, but that they won't hold any more burnouts on public streets.

The charity event was closed immediately after the accident. Two people died at the scene: Raven Griswell, 15, and Sean Driskill, 22. Four others died on their way or after arriving at local hospitals: Scarlett Replogle, 15; Kimberly Barfield, 17; Nicole Griswell, 19; and Brook Pope, 20. The twenty injured spectators taken to hospitals in Tennessee and Mississippi include a 5-year-old boy.


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