A 6-year-old girl was flown to Memorial Hospital after a race car crashed Friday morning. But police say the child is expected to be released from the hospital Friday evening.
The little girl and her father are visitors from Austin, TX, who were watching the practice runs. The girl climbed up onto a rock and was standing there when the race car crashed around 9:38 a.m. If not for the rock, the girl's injuries might have been worse.
Police say the race car driver from Sweden was warming up for the hill climb by practicing time trials. He crossed the finish line at the top of Pikes Peak. He was entering the parking lot turn around area when he realized he had no brakes.
Investigators says the driver put his vehicle into a side skid in an attempt to slow the car down. He slid sideways into a large boulder, where the girl was standing.
The girl was thrown several feet away from the rock. She was taken by helicopter to Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. According to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, the child was awake and breathing prior to Memorial Star's arrival.
A second person, a passenger from the race car, was also hospitalized. They were taken to Penrose Hospital by ambulance for back pain.
The young girl's father tells police they are visiting the area.
We spoke with another visiting mother who also have a six-year-old girl. The news was hard for her to hear.
"It's just your worst nightmare," said mother Julie Crenshaw. "It would be so scary to come on vacation and be enjoying your trip and all the sudden to have something like that happen would just be absolutely mortifying and awful. My heart goes out to them."
A race fan we spoke to on scene reminds people it's important for everyone to be vigilant and careful at races like these, especially now that many of the race cars are electric and nearly silent until right next to you.
The vehicle involved was marked with number 372. According to race records, that car is a 1967 Ford Mustang driven by Ralf Christensson of Stockholm, Sweden. It is entered in the vintage automobile division.
Police say the event is considered a closed sporting event and is being investigated as an accidental injury.