Safety Questioned At Pocono Raceway

TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP — Brian Zimmerman, 41, of Moosic was killed Sunday after being struck by lightning at the Pocono Raceway in Monroe County. Nine others were struck by lightning and injured.

“Mother Nature’s sneaky, you don’t know what she’s going to do,” said Brandon Igdalsky, President of Pocono Raceway.

The NASCAR race at Pocono Raceway was called late Sunday afternoon after a severe thunderstorm warning was issued.

Raceway officials said fans were told to seek shelter in their vehicles.

But just how many warnings were issued?

“We’re still going through the logs and everything. I don’t want to speculate and say what happened, what didn’t happen until we have all the information in front of us. There’s a lot of stuff to go through and we’re not going to rush through this. We’re going to take our time,” said Igdalsky at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Some fans took to Pocono Raceway’s Facebook page.

One man posted:

“There was nothing the track could have done. I was there and my friend was one of the injured. It all happened right next to me and my car didn’t fare out so well also. But back to the point. The track did everything it could do.”

But others disagreed.

One woman posted:

“It is devastating this happened, officials should have cleared the place as soon as the warning came over. “

Another woman said:

“My husband and I were in the grandstands near the entrance of pit road. Neither of us heard anything over the loud speakers. If there was an announcement made, it was not heard by everyone because of the cars, fans, etc. I think this should be a lesson to NASCAR and the track in the future that when there is an approaching storm they need to put the race on hold.”

“This tragic event is at the forefront of all of our thoughts and prayers. We will learn from the incident and continue to implement strategies to help ensure the safety of fans and all attendees at Pocono Raceway,” said Igdalsky.

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