Weekend tragedy at a Tulsa truck show kills a racing champion

Monday, February 20th 2006, 3:32 pm
By: News On 6

A weekend tragedy at a monster truck show in Tulsa killed a racing champion and injured two others. The accident was also traumatic for the hundreds of fans that were watching the show when a stunt went horribly wrong.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler takes us inside the Expo Center the night of the tragedy.

"It just felt real cold and my hair was sticking up on my arm, and I was just shocked for the rest of the night." Dylan Myers and Curtis Rinehart were shocked at what they saw at Tulsa's Expo Square Saturday night. They caught it all on digital camera. "It went over this jump and then it lost control and he slammed on the brakes and I guess the driver hit his head or something and he kept going, hit the gas again, and there was a couple guys standing in front of the monster truck, and they got hit. I was just pretty much shocked and amazed that he could hit his brakes and then let off. and he hit the monster truck and the monster truck moved probably five or six feet."

Myers' video shows, David Willoughby losing control of his SUV. With no barrier between the track and bystanders, he plows into Shane Smith and Calvin Carrington. "A lot of people ran out there. Big crowd of people around it, and eventually some firemen got there, but it took a long time before the ambulance."

Eyewitness Dale Korn: "What I don't understand is why they didn't have paramedics or anything on standby here. That just doesn't make sense at a sporting event like this. I'm thinking of the safety."

EMSA spokesperson Tina Wells says it's up to organizers to request paramedics for potentially dangerous events. She says even though EMSA units weren't assigned to the Starbird event this year, paramedics arrived within five minutes of the 911 call. Two more units arrived about three minutes later.

For those who were there, it seemed like an eternity. Dylan Myers: "Just don't know how it could've happened. They shouldn't have had that car out there and lose control. It wasn't able to go through that dirt like that."

A tragic accident that has the racing community mourning a champion. Shane Smith and David Wiloughby are both out of the hospital.

EMSA says it's up to the event to determine whether it warrants on-site paramedics and that it's unusual for an event like Darryl Starbird's Car Show to forego a dedicated EMSA unit.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office has impounded the SUV, to investigate what might have caused the accident.