MARTINSVILLE, Va., Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A spectator drove into a crowd of people outside Martinsville Stadium on Sunday afternoon, injuring 22 people, though most were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Bystanders suggested the driver purposely mowed down part of the crowd after hitting a Jeep SUV while apparently attempting to leave the crowded parking lot outside the stadium following the NASCAR Spring Cup Series Goody's Fast Relief 500.
Officials said a 2005 Chevrolet SSR convertible was trying to pass a Jeep in the handicapped section of the parking lot after the race shortly before 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening, instead hitting the SUV and then driving into a crowd of pedestrians.
"We were just standing there watching people get on the helicopter and what have you and there was a big cluster of people," race spectator Russell Tipton told FOXSports.com. "Some guy... I don't know what his deal was. I heard him gas it up and he just run right through the crowd, running over people. It was crazy."
Another spectator, Joel Fulp, who saw the accident, said "he drove right through us. He stopped and looked at us, and me right in the eye and... he said, 'F--- this,' and drove right down through the middle of the crowd."
While most injuries were minor, nine of the 22 people hit were taken to nearby hospitals, though their injuries were said to not be life-threatening. The other injured individuals were treated at the scene.
Police said they did not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash, however the driver was taken into custody and charges are pending.