Two children were killed and eight people were injured when a drag racing vehicle veered off a track and struck spectators Saturday afternoon in the Texas Hill Country, authorities said.
One child, a 6-year-old boy, was pronounced dead at the scene; a second boy, 8, died at a hospital, police in Kerrville, where the accident happened, said in a statement Saturday evening.
The eight injured included a 46-year-old woman in critical condition, a 27-year-old woman in critical condition, a 26-year-old man whose condition was not known, and a 34-year-old man, identified as the driver, who police described described as "stable."
Two other people were treated at the scene and released, and a 3-month-old girl and a 4-year-old boy, were hospitalized "for precautionary evaluations," police said.
The injured were taken to medical facilities in Kerrville, Austin and San Antonio, police said.
This photo shows the aftermath of an accident at the Kerrville airport today where a Race Wars event ended in tragedy. We are headed to the scene and will report more information as it becomes available but we're being told 2 children were killed and 5 people critically injured. pic.twitter.com/eiu0g587D5
— Jim Lefko (@jimlefko) October 23, 2021
The crash happened at about 3:20 p.m. at a temporary track at Kerrville Aviation at the Kerrville-Kerr County Airport, about about 65 miles northwest of San Antonio.
Police said the driver lost control and the left the runway before striking spectators and parked vehicles.
Police are investigating the crash.
The racing was part of the "Airport Race Wars 2" event. Organizers and an airport official did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ross Dunagan, the founder of race organizer Flyin' Diesel Performance & Offroad, an auto repair and tuning shop adjacent to the airport, said in a Facebook video about an hour after the crash, "The race is shut down and we ask that you please pray for everybody involved."
The event was promoted on the Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau website as an "action packed, family-friendly day of all out No Prep Drag Racing. Come see some of the fastest drag cars compete for over $8000 in total prizes."
No-prep racing has been made famous by the success of Discovery's "Street Outlaws" show. The term describes competition in which tracks aren't prepared on the day of racing with a liquid traction compound that promotes tire adhesion and allows cars to go forward instead of spinning their wheels.
The show and its spinoffs have filmed multiple crashes during races and testing.
No-prep racing also often involves a limitation on tire sizes, which can also limit grip. The result is more unpredictability, where the most-expensive car doesn't always win.
"There is a undeniable fascination with and attraction to the omnipresence of danger, of vehicles that appear beyond the limit of control, and no-prep has and will continue to benefit from the risks its racers take," the publication Dragzine wrote in an editorial in August.
But critics have called the style of racing dangerous, as Motor Trend reported in 2015.
No-prep races have been the sites of many crashes, some deadly, many captured on video.
Although an airport might not be amenable to using a sticky liquid on its tarmac, using airports for track events and vehicle testing is not unusual.