12:30 PM PDT, July 7, 2021
A man is dead and two others in critical condition, including a 9-year-old boy, after a race car lost control and crashed into a crowd of spectators at a Georgia track this weekend, authorities said.
One car at the Hartwell Motor Speedway swerved off the track during a show Saturday around midnight and struck a wall, crashed through a fence and ended up in a pit area, Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland said according to WYFF.
Paul Ballenger Jr., 58, an auto body repair technician from Royston was killed in the crash. He died at the scene.
Ballinger is survived by his two daughters and sons, 14 grandchildren, and his girlfriend, according to his obituary by Ginn Funeral Home.
Two others, a man in his thirties and a 9-year-old, were injured and taken to local hospitals, according to reports.
Hartwell Speedway is on the outskirts of rural Hart County and hosts races every Saturday night, according to its website.
The racetrack expressed its condolences and wrote in a statement, “Everyone at Hartwell Speedway ask that you please keep those involved in the tragic accident tonight at the Speedway in your thoughts and prayers. We would also like to thank all those who came to the aide of those injured.”