Lightning hits crowd at El Paso raceway

By: MARIA ST.LOUIS-SANCHEZ
July 24, 2011
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A lightning strike “from out of nowhere” hit an east El Paso County motocross raceway Sunday afternoon, knocking people down and sending one woman to the hospital, the raceway owner said.

“There was a bright light and it was very loud,” said Byron Wolf, owner of the Aztec Family Raceway on Highway 94 near Ellicott.  “Five people got flattened.”

The lighting struck about 3 p.m. during the last race of the day when about 200 people were watching or participating in the race. Wolf said medical personnel already at the track immediately helped the victims. Four were able to walk away and the fifth,  a woman who didn’t seem to be seriously injured, was taken to the hospital, Wolf said.

Wolf said he saw the large storm to the south of raceway, but it seemed to be headed in another direction. Then, before there was any wind or a drop of rain, the lightning hit.

After the strike all of the racers were called in, he said, and the raceway was then pounded by a powerful storm making its way through the county. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning from 4-7 p.m. Sunday.

 

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