Injured fan describes Daytona wreck: ‘I thought that was the end of my life’

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A fan injured by debris when Austin Dillon’s car went into the Daytona International Speedway catch fence has described her frightening experience.

Cindy Meyers, 58, of St. Cloud, Fla., told ESPN.com that the Coke Zero 400 was her first NASCAR race, a birthday present from her son.

Meyers was there to see the last Daytona race of her favorite driver, Jeff Gordon. The mother and son were seated three rows back from the catch fence.

“The car hit the fence, and I thought it was going to come right through the fence,” Meyers told ESPN.com’s Bob Pockrass. “I thought that was the end of my life when it was coming. … I’m glad me and my son are alive and whoever else might have got hurt in there.”

Meyers and her 32-year-old son had no time to react and were both struck by debris, though Meyers isn’t sure what hit her and her son.

The debris knocked her to the ground, Meyers said, with her shoulder absorbing most of the impact. She said she has limited movement and pain primarily in her back, neck and arm.

Meyers’ son has similar injuries, as well as suffering burns on his face and is experiencing headaches. Meyers said her son removed a piece of metal from his tongue Tuesday.

“It was just a boom,” Meyers said. “Stuff just flew like a tidal wave, a big part of the fence came down, and stuff was flying everywhere.

“I didn’t know if we were going to die, if that car was coming through that whole fence or what. I was mostly fearing I wasn’t going to be alive anymore. It was a terrifying experience.”

Meyers said she and her son don’t have medical insurance. The pair have retained Orlando-based attorney Matt Morgan, who monitored the phone interview.

“It was my first race and probably will be my last,” Meyers said. “I sure did [enjoy it] until the last lap.”

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