Four-time IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti was injured along with 13 spectators and a race official in a crash during the final lap of the Grand Prix of Houston on Sunday when his car went airborne after colliding with the wall and another vehicle.
Franchitti, soon to be the former husband of Ashley Judd
, suffered a concussion, broken right ankle and two fractured vertebrae.
The Grand Prix official and spectators were injured from flying debris as a result of the crash, the Orlando Sentinel reported
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Only two of the injured spectators were taken to a hospital. The remainder were treated at the scene, according to Houston Fire Department spokesman Ruy Lozano.
The series official was taken to a hospital where he was treated for minor injuries, the Associated Press noted
The accident occurred as a result of Franchitti's car clipping the tire of driver Takuma Sato's vehicle.
"On the last lap I caught the marbles and brushed the wall and lost momentum," Sato told the Orlando Sentinel. "A couple cars passed me as I was off line and in Turn 5. I got very loose and Dario and I came together. Hopefully Dario is OK."
Driver E.J. Viso also collided with Franchitti's car before the race could be stopped by officials. Both Viso and Sato were able to walk away from the accident, while Franchitti was placed on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center, the Washington Post reported
"The smells and the visuals. . . You have the remnants of Vegas popping into your head with you coming around the corner and you can’t drive through it because there’s a field of debris," Scott Dixon, who won the first race of the Grand Prix this weekend, told the AP on Sunday.
Dixon was referring to a 2011 crash in Las Vegas in which racecar driver Will Power broke his vertebra in the 15-car pileup that killed two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon.
"There was no near the amount of damage that we saw (in 2011), but seeing the replay was a big shock," Dixon added.
The Scottish-born Franchitti, 40, who is also a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, made headlines earlier in the year when he and actress Ashley Judd, 45, announced that they would be calling it quits after more than 11 years of marriage.
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