One person was killed and nine others were injured yesterday when at least two bolts of lightning struck the parking lot of the Pocono Raceway in Monroe County during NASCAR race Pennsylvania 400, according to a report from The Charlotte Observer.
The strikes hit the lot behind the main grandstands during a severe thunderstorm that stopped the race, whose start had already been beset by multiple weather delays, shortly before 5 p.m. Though the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area about 45 minutes prior, fans were reportedly not notified and no evacuation of the grounds took place.
Five people were hospitalized – two of them in critical condition – while five additional people were treated onsite and later taken to area hospitals for evaluation. Track president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky announced shortly before 8 p.m. that one of the fans, a 41-year-old man he called “a member of our raceway family here” had died at Pocono Medical Center.
That man’s identity has not yet been released pending family notification.