Driver charged with reckless driving in incident at Martinsville Speedway

Kelly Crandall

An adult male faces a charge of reckless driving after more than 20 people were injured when a car struck pedestrians in a parking lot after Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway.

Fifteen of 17 people who went to hospitals near Martinsville Speedway after a vehicle crashed into a crowd Sunday were treated and released. Thirteen people were treated at the scene.

The Virginia State Police said the driver was taken into custody without incident and charged with one count of reckless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. A magistrate set bond at $7,500. The maximum punishment for the charge is 12 months jail and a $2,500 fine.

The police investigation continues and more charges could be possible.

Andrew Nester, Henry County Commonwealth Attorney, told NBC Sports that the reckless driving charge was made because “we feel, at this point, we certainly have enough to prove that.”

Many of those injured have been treated and released from area hospitals.

Memorial Hospital in Martinsville, Virginia, reported that 10 of 12 patients it received were treated and released. One patient was admitted overnight and is in stable condition, and one was sent to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia

Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden, North Carolina, reported that all five patients it saw were treated and released.

Virginia State Police stated that the incident occurred at 5:38 p.m. – an hour after the checkered flag waved in Sunday’s race won by Jimmie Johnson – in the handicapped parking lot outside Turn 2 of the speedway.

The parking lot was congested with vehicles and pedestrians when a 2005 Chevrolet SSR convertible attempted to pass a Jeep Patriot. The Chevrolet struck the Jeep and then struck several pedestrians, according to the Virginia State Police.

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, according to the Virginia State Police.