"I'm here tomorrow," said Steve David, U-6 driver, referring to a frightening incident at the Madison Regatta. It could have been a disaster when the hydro hit something in the water and nearly smacked into a patrol boat.More >>
"I'm here tomorrow," said Steve David, U-6 driver, referring to a spectacular and frightening incident at the Madison Regatta. It could have been a disaster when the U-6 Oh Boy! Oberto hit something in the water, did a 360, and nearly smacked into a patrol boat.More >>
A car raced through the crowd hitting people and flew into the river forcing race officials to cancel the finals. Earlier, Six boats were damaged on the river.More >>
6 boats were damaged on the water, leading to the cancellation of Heats 3A & 3B. Then, a car struck people in the crowd - injuring 11 - and went into the river, forcing cancellation of the finals. Villwock was declared the winner. Heat Winners 1A: U-1 Dave Villwock 1B: U-7 Mike Allen 2A: U-5 Mike Weber 2B: U-1 Dave VillwockMore >>
MADISON, Indiana - A car careened through a throng of hydroplane racing fans gathered for the Madison Regatta, leaving a trail of destruction and injury before plunging 25 feet out into the Ohio River.
"I saw one young lady just frozen in her path, just standing at the water's edge and the car ran directly over the top of her," said David Edds, of Owensboro, Ky. "It was the most horrifying thing that I have ever seen."
Police said 11 people were injured, four of them seriously, in the accident that occurred shortly after 4 p.m. There were no fatalities.
The driver, Michael Bowen, 18, was one of those taken to a hospital in Louisville, Ky., about 40 miles away, officials said. Police said Bowen was slumped over the steering wheel as the vehicle approached a crowd barrier along the riverfront. He was unconscious when he was pulled from the water, Madison Police Chief Bob Wolf said during a news conference.
A juvenile passenger in the car also was hospitalized.
Police did not know what caused the accident, but said charges could be filed. Investigators sought a blood test to determine whether a teenage driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when his car plowed through a crowd of speedboat race fans along the Ohio River.
Ten people were injured Sunday afternoon at the Madison Regatta. Four, including the driver, remained hospitalized Monday. Two were in critical condition.
Racing was stopped following the crash, which came shortly before the scheduled running of the main event, the Indiana Gov.'s Cup. Dave Villwock, of Auburn, Wash., driving the U-1 Miss Elam Plus, was declared the winner based on points.
Edds, who is writing a book on hydroplane racing, caught the shrieking crowd and emergency sirens on tape.
"There were fans that at first were shocked and then ran down to start helping folks and there was just a trail of folks laying on the ground in the path of where the car had gone," he said.
Seven people were treated at King's Daughter's Hospital in Madison and released, said spokeswoman Nadja Boone. Two others were transferred to University Hospital and another was taken to Kosair Children's Hospital, both in Louisville.
Another person was transported directly to University Hospital, Boone said.
Wolf said witnesses gave varying accounts of what happened.
Police said the car drove through the crowd, hit a golf cart used by officials who ducked for cover and then went airborne.
Madison is in southeast Indiana, midway between Louisville, Ky., and Cincinnati. The annual race for unlimited hydroplanes draws thousands of people to the riverside community of about 13,000 every Fourth of July weekend.