Cass County Sheriff Wm. C. Brueggemann advised that on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 6:45 p.m. Cass County Deputies, along with Eagle and Alvo Rescue and Cass County Paramedics responded to an accident involving race cars in the pits of Eagle Raceway.
John Austin, 60, of Lincoln, had just finished his heat race in his "Hobby Stock" race car. Near the Start / Finish Line the throttle on Austin's race car became stuck in the open position. The race car left the track via the pit exit at a high rate of speed and became airborne where the race car struck a parked and unoccupied race car which was pushed into an all-terrain vehicle.
The group of vehicles was then pushed into a group of people, and into another parked race car. The collision caused Justin Vanderharr, 35, of Lincoln, to become pinned underneath the last race car. The race car was lifted by several people at the scene to free Vanderharr.
Vanderharr as transported by Alvo Rescue to Bryan LGH West Hospital with head and internal injuries.
As of this release, Vanderharr is still in critical condition.
LifeNet and Star Care were called but were unable to fly due to weather. Michael Ramsey, 55, of Bellevue, was also transported to Bryan LGH West Hospital and was later released. A third party was transported to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Lincoln by Eagle Rescue. Several other individuals refused treatment at the scene. All others that were injured have been released from the hospitals.
Officials from Eagle Raceway were able to verify that a malfunction caused the throttle to stick open. Alcohol is not a factor in the accident. Investigation is ongoing.