Police identify driver who struck pedestrians at Martinsville Speedway

Kelly Crandall

Virginia State Police identified the driver who struck several pedestrians in the parking lot at Martinsville Speedway as 65-year-old Gary T. Edem of Fairfax, Virginia.

He was taken into custody after the incident, which sent nearly 20 people to local hospitals, and charged with one count of reckless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. A magistrate set an unsecured bond at $7,500. The maximum punishment for the charge is 12 months jail and a $2,500 fine.

Virginia State Police has stated that alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the accident.

The incident occurred in the handicapped parking area outside of Turn 2 of the speedway about an hour after Jimmie Johnson won Sunday’s race. The parking lot was congested with vehicles and pedestrians when a 2005 Chevrolet SSR convertible attempted to pass a Jeep Liberty. The Chevrolet struck the Jeep and then struck several nearby pedestrians. 

Neither the driver nor the passenger in the Jeep was injured in the crash. The driver was a 73-year-old male from Joplin, Missouri, and the passenger was a 36-year-old male from Bentonville, Arkansas.

Twelve people were transported to Memorial Hospital in Martinsville, Virginia. Ten were released, one was admitted overnight in stable condition and one was transferred to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, Virginia. All were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The youngest person taken to a hospital was 12 years old.

Those transported there were:

48-year-old female from Troutman, N.C.

65-year-old male from Plainville, Ga.

49-year-old female from Danville, Va.

34-year-old female from Henry, Va.

43-year-old male from Greensboro, N.C.

34-year-old female from Greensboro, N.C.

60-year-old male from Xenia, Ohio

61-year-old female from Xenia, Ohio

45-year-old male from Dalton, Ga.

12-year-old male from Danville, Va.

51-year-old male from Greensboro, N.C.

53-year-old female from Reidsville, N.C.

Five people were transported to Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden, North Carolina, for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. State police has only been able to confirm through the hospital two of the identities those individuals: a 40-year-old female and her 15-year-old daughter. Both are from Ararat, Virginia.

The remaining five individuals were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

The investigation by the Virginia State Police continues and additional charges are pending in consultation with Henry County Commonwealth Attorney Andrew Nester.