Suspect charged after Martinsville Speedway pedestrian crash
A Fairfax, Va., man has been charged with reckless driving after a crash that injured 22 people outside Martinsville Speedway following Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500.
Virginia State Police said in a statement Monday that 65-year-old Gary T. Edem was released after a magistrate placed him on unsecured bond.
Troopers say Edem was driving a Chevrolet when he tried to pass a Jeep in the disabled parking area Sunday evening. Investigators say Edem struck the Jeep and the pedestrians.
Police say 22 people ranging in age from 12 to 65 were injured, including 17 people who were taken to hospitals with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening.
In am exclusive interview with FOXSports.com Sunday night, Russell Tipton of Smith Mountain Lake, Va., said he was one of the 22 hit by the black Chevrolet SSR.
“We were just standing there watching people get on the helicopter and what have you and there was a big cluster of people,” Tipton told FOXSports.com. “Some guy … I don’t know what his deal was. I heard him gas it up and he just run right through the crowd, running over people. It was crazy.”
Tipton said he suffered only minor injuries when the mirror of the SSR struck him on the elbow.
“I was screaming and yelling at people to get out of the way, and he run into the fence,” Tipton said of the driver. “I heard it. Nobody ended up getting killed, thank God. It could have been a bad deal. … I saw him going through all the people. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Joel Fulp, a witness to the accident, told FOXSports.com that the driver of the vehicle appeared to act intentionally. “He drove right through us,” said Fulp. “He stopped and looked at us as and looked me right in the eye and … he said, ‘F— this,’ and drove right down through the middle of the crowd.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.