1st body recovered and 3 others were injured in deadly crash in League City, Texas
Police say a 21-year-old man faces multiple charges after he allegedly lost control of his car while racing and crashed into a crowd of spectators at a drag racing track in League City, killing two children and injuring eight people.
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League City police chief Darrell Walker says the driver faces two counts of capital murder and one count of injury by vehicle. Six of the injured, five children and one adult, were hospitalized in stable condition. The youngest was a toddler.
According to the race’s organiser, 21-year-old Kyle Martino’s Ford Mustang began its heat with a high-speed drop while accelerating to the top of the initial turn at Mad River Dragway.
“He lost control of the vehicle, it was coming to the finish line and continued traveling, and came back down the back straight away, lost control again, hit a tree and came to rest there,” Walker said.
Witnesses told the Texas Observer that as many as 200 people were gathered at the track before Martino’s car crashed.
The race’s organiser, Loren Totten, told the Observer it was likely that after the crash, people rushed to the track’s safety trailers and didn’t have time to escape.
“Because the vehicles went from spinning out of control to going down in the trees, they didn’t have time to get to the trailers to get out of the line of vehicles,” he said.
No legal alcohol was involved and no citations have been issued, Walker said.
Walker said it appeared Martino had enough time to lose control, but it was “unclear if he hit it while traveling down or as it was on the bottom at the top”.
Six children aged under 12 were among the injured. One of them, a 10-year-old boy, remained in critical condition on Wednesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Police believe Martino, of League City, and a companion were racing their cars, both said.
Police also have evidence that Martino’s race car was racing another car before the crash, the police chief said.
League City is roughly 35 miles (56km) southwest of Houston.