1 dead, 9 injured in lightning strike at Pocono

Associated Press Modified: August 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm •  Published: August 5, 2012
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LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — Lightning strikes at Pocono Raceway after a rain-shortened NASCAR race Sunday killed one fan and injured nine others, one critically, racetrack officials said.

Multiple lightning strikes occurred behind the racetrack's grandstands and outside one of the gates as fans were leaving, Pocono spokesman Bob Pleban said. It wasn't immediately clear how many of the fans were actually struck by the lightning itself or were injured by related jolts.

"Unfortunately, a member of our raceway family here, a fan, has passed away," Pocono President Brandon Igdalsky said in announcing the death. He provided no details about the victim but expressed condolences to his family.

The victim was in or near his car in a parking lot after the race had ended when lightning struck the car, Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen said. Bystanders performed CPR on the man, who had gone into cardiac arrest, until paramedics arrived, Allen said. They took him to the track's medical facility, where efforts to revive him failed. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Allen would only identify the victim as a 41-year-old Pennsylvania man, saying his family had not yet been notified.

The Pennsylvania 400 was called because of storms, with 98 of the 160 scheduled laps completed. As the storm approached, the track posted messages on its Twitter page to more than 22,000 followers near the end of the race encouraging fans to "seek shelter as severe lightning and heavy winds are in our area."

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