Lightning Strike Kills 1, Injures 9 at Pocono


LONG POND, Pa. - Lightning from the storm that ended Sunday's Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway claimed the life of one fan and injured nine others, officials from the track confirmed Sunday evening.

At least two separate strikes accounted for the casualties -- one in the parking lot near the main grandstand and another at Gate 3, off Long Pond Road, at the race track south of Interstate 80.

Two fans were injured critically by the strikes. One, who was being transported to Pocono Medical Center, has died, according to track president Brandon Igdalsky. The other, who was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital Center in Allentown, Pa., remains in critical condition.

"One of the injured has been declared deceased at Pocono Medical Center this evening by Dr. Peter Favini, the medical director of E.R. down there," Igdalsky said.

Three others were taken to area hospitals with injuries described as minor to moderate. Five other fans were treated at the scene and were subsequently transported to medical facilities for further evaluation.

"Our heartfelt thoughts and best wishes to those that were injured and our condolences to loved ones of the person that was deceased," said Pocono Raceway vice president Bob Pleban.

"We are deeply saddened that a fan has died and others were injured by lightning strikes following today's race at Pocono," said NASCAR spokesman David Higdon. "Our thoughts are with them as well as all those affected by this unfortunate accident."

Identification of the victims has been withheld pending notification of families.

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