A Lincoln man remained in critical condition Monday after a crash at Eagle Raceway.
Justin Vanderharr, 35, is at Bryan Medical Center’s west campus in Lincoln, a hospital spokeswoman said. Cass County Sheriff William Brueggemann reported that Vanderharr had head and internal injuries.
The crash occurred Saturday evening in the pit area of the track.
Another man, Michael Ramsey, 35, of Bellevue, was taken to Bryan for a leg injury but was later released. Both men work on the pit crew for Adam Gullion Racing, according to the team’s Facebook page.
The crash occurred about 6:30 p.m. Saturday when the throttle of a hobby stock car driven by John Austin, 60, of Lincoln, became stuck in the open position at the end of his heat race, investigators said. Austin’s car left the track via the pit exit at a high rate of speed and became airborne, Brueggemann said.
The car struck a parked race car, which was pushed into an all-terrain vehicle. Those vehicles then pushed into a group of people and another parked race car.
Vanderharr became pinned under the last car, Brueggemann said. The car was lifted by several people at the scene, freeing Vanderharr.
Medical helicopters were unavailable to fly Vanderharr and Ramsey to a hospital because of storms in the area. Several other people suffered minor injuries during the incident, but they all either refused treatment or were treated at area hospitals and released, Brueggemann said.
Adam Gullion posted on Facebook that Vanderharr is in the intensive care unit. He is in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator, Gullion said.
“He currently remains in the ICU with a severe brain injury,” Gullion wrote. “He sustained multiple skull fractures, brain bleed and swelling. Unfortunately, monitoring and time is all they can do right now as no surgery will help.”
Vanderharr also suffered a broken leg that will need surgery, Gullion said, but nothing will be done about the fracture until the brain injury improves.
“We ask that you please pray for Justin and his family!” Gullion wrote. “The Racing community is a strong one. I know we can pull together and use the power of prayer. We also ask for respect and privacy for the family as they grasp what is going on and play the waiting game to see if the swelling goes down.”
Eagle Raceway is a one-third-mile dirt track two miles east of Eagle, Nebraska, on U.S. Highway 34 in Cass County. Rain forced the cancellation of other races for the evening.
Sign up for World-Herald news alerts
Be the first to know when news happens. Get the latest breaking headlines sent straight to your inbox.