February 23, 2013 / 10:10 PM / 6 years ago

Fans, driver injured in crash at Daytona Speedway

(Reuters) - At least 12 fans and one driver were injured after a wreck at the Daytona Speedway on Saturday when car debris flew into the crowd near the end of the Nationwide NASCAR race.

NASCAR driver Tony Stewart (bottom R) avoids a crash on the last lap to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series DRIVE4COPD 300 race at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida February 23, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Brown

A hospital official at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Florida, told the Daytona News Journal that 11 spectators were being treated in the emergency room, with two of them critically injured.

Four of the fans were on trauma alert and five were being treated as non-trauma cases, the newspaper reported.

Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach had one patient from the crash and was expecting three more, spokeswoman Lindsay Rew said.

Debris from the 10-car crash flew into the spectator area and some fans were taken away on stretchers.

The crash sent driver Kyle Larson’s car airborne, although he climbed out of the wreckage afterward, the ESPN sports network said.

Driver Michael Annett of the Richard Petty Motorsports team was being treated at the Halifax Health Medical Center and would be kept for observation, the team said in a statement.

Annett was transported to the hospital after complaining of pain in his chest and sternum and was treated for bruising on his chest and underwent a CT Scan.

The Nationwide race is an event before Sunday’s prestigious Daytona 500 race. Tony Stewart won the race.

NASCAR President Mike Helton told ESPN, “Our prayers and thoughts are with everybody they (the emergency responders) are working on.”

Reporting Simon Evans in Orlando, Florida, and Cynthia Johnston; Editing by Peter Cooney

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