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AMHERST, Ohio (AP) – Two cars jumped a guard rail during an auto race and veered into the stands, injuring at least a dozen people, one fatally.

The cause of the accident late Saturday at the Lorain County Speedway hadn’t been determined. The track’s operations manager, Rich Rankin, said rain that fell about two hours earlier was not a factor because the track was dry.

“Two of the cars accelerated and bumped and the drivers lost control, went over a guard rail, took out a fence and hit a set of stands,” Lorain County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Jim Drozdowski said.

One of the injured spectators was Kathy Williams.

“It happened so quick. I didn’t know what happened until I was pinned under the car. I was looking the other way when it hit,” Williams, 45, said Sunday from her bed at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

“Everybody was scared. They were trying to get to me and get me out from under the fender,” said Williams, who suffered a broken leg.

Rankin would not estimate the number of people in the stands, but said it was considerably smaller than the track’s 2,700-person seating capacity.

The speedway, about 40 miles west of Cleveland, features mostly local drivers and is in its 53rd season of racing.

Seventeen drivers were competing in a NASCAR Racing Series Late Models event when the accident occurred, said one of the drivers, Bob Hennings, of the Cleveland suburb of Brooklyn.

Williams was one of four people taken to MetroHealth. One, Virginia Wyleth, 65, was pronounced dead early Sunday, a nursing supervisor at the hospital said.

A 19-year-old man was in satisfactory condition with leg injuries and a 69-year-old man was listed in satisfactory condition with spinal injuries. A 14-year-old girl was in fair condition at another hospital with leg injuries. At least seven others were treated and released.

The two drivers were treated at the scene.


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