Harrells, NC – On Sunday, May 16th, around 9:18 PM, an accident at the Harrells Raceway on 3030 Buckhorn Road, Harrells, NC, claimed the life of a spectator.
During a two car drag race, on dual lanes, a race car operated by Joseph Wactor of Brooklyn, NY, lost control and struck the guardrail. The vehicle was traveling approximately 130- 135 mph when it hit the guardrail, and the vehicle started disintegrating. The vehicle’s engine was thrown approximately 100 feet and landed on a bystander, who was standing along the raceway’s chain link fence.
The bystander, Terry McDougald, of Lillington, NC, died on the scene. The driver of the race car, Mr. Wactor, suffered several injuries but refused medical treatment after a helicopter from the hospital in Wilmington landed on the scene.
A second spectator was injured when a burning fuel cell from the vehicle flew past them. The burned spectator was transported to the hospital for treatment.
Several vehicles were damaged by flying debris from the crash. No other injuries were reported. Rumors circulated on the scene that the flying engine threw the deceased into a motor home, however investigation revealed other parts from the vehicle struck the motor home and the deceased did not strike the vehicle.
Weather conditions are not being considered as factors in the accident. It was not raining at the time of the crash, however it had rained earlier in the night. Raceway crews dried the strip, and several races had been conducted between the rain shower and the crash. There are no indications to indicate foul play, however the incident is still under investigation to determine the exact cause of the crash.
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HARRELLS, NC (WWAY) - Sampson County Sheriff's Investigators say a driver lost control of his car while drag racing at the Harrells's Raceway Sunday Night.
An investigator says the car's engine flew off, tore through a fence and struck a spectator throwing him at least 40 feet and into the front windshield of an RV. The impact killed him instantly. Another spectator was burned and was taken to the hospital in Wilmington.
Emergency workers cut the driver out of the car. He was also taken to the hospital. No word this morning on their condition.