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INDYCAR releases statement on Dario Franchitti’s injuries

Oct 6, 2013, 6:12 PM EDT

INDYCAR medical director Dr. Michael Olinger has confirmed that Dario Franchitti has been admitted to the Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center here in Houston for multiple injuries including a concussion, a spinal fracture that will not require surgery, and a fractured right ankle. He will be kept overnight for observation.

Franchitti was involved in a multi-car crash on the final lap of today’s Race 2 of the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston, in which he was sent airborne and into the catch fence after contact with Takuma Sato.

The incident also collected E.J. Viso, but Sato and Viso were able to come away unscathed. Franchitti’s car owner, Chip Ganassi, told NBCSN shortly after the crash that his driver was awake and alert.

Franchitti’s impact against the catch fence sprayed debris not only across the track but toward the nearby Turn 5 grandstands. After an initial report from local TV station KTRK-TV said that 13 spectators were injured, with two of them being sent to a local hospital for further treatment, a joint statement from race organizer Mi-Jack Promotions, Reliant Park and INDYCAR confirmed two fans were indeed taken to hospitals and 11 fans were treated on-site.

“Officials are investigating the incident and currently do not have further information at this time. Fan and driver safety are always a primary concern and we will provide further details as they are available,” the statement said additionally.

  1. seanb20124 - Oct 6, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Say some prayers tonight, looked bad

  2. sabatimus - Oct 6, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    Though it apparently won’t require surgery, the words “spinal fracture” really hit home how scary this all is.

    • midtec2005 - Oct 6, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      Luckily they get strapped into these cars very securely, so actual spinal damage is rare. Broken vertebra happen more often then you’d think in Indycars… not that that makes it any better.

      Scary scary wreck. I let out an audible shout when I saw it. They really need to do something about these cars getting airborne…

      • sabatimus - Oct 6, 2013 at 8:21 PM

        When I saw the crash I thought Franchitti was hurt but not killed, since the cockpit remained intact. But every time I see an IndyCar go air and hit the retaining fence I think of Dan Wheldon. RIP.

  3. Jeff - Oct 6, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Glad to hear Dario is going to be OK.
    Wish him a speedy recovery, and I hope to see him racing in Fontana.

  4. snoopyo - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Glad Dario is ok, when it happened all I kept thinking was I hope this is not another Wheldon and I was worried for him and the fans. Then when they showed Susie Wheldon in the pits I was thinking that poor women has to see something like this again.

  5. apexassassin - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    They could take a note from F1. Not to sound unsympathetic, but their strict saftey standards have really impressed me for the past few decades.

    Best wishes for Dario though!

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