May 8, 2009 in City, Idaho

Driver strikes, kills pedestrian at Spokane County Raceway

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Colin Mulvany photo

An Airway Heights Fire Dept. fire truck enters the main gate at Spokane County Raceway where at pedestrian fatality occurred Friday afternoon May 8, 2009. COLIN MULVANY The Spokesman-Review
(Full-size photo)

An Infinity sports car spinning out of control struck and killed a 68-year-old North Idaho man early this afternoon at Spokane County Raceway.

The accident happened about 1:30 p.m. on the track’s road course, where the man, a contractor, was talking with the park’s General Manager Jay Livingston off the track.

A 46-year-old military retiree driving an Infinity G30 apparently lost control coming out of a curve and struck the contractor, said Spokane County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan.

The man was thrown 15 feet into a tree. Efforts were made to revive him, but he apparently died from the impact, Reagan said.

The county last year purchased the property and turned it over to Austin Motor Sports Management, owned by Tacoma businessman Bucky Austin, also the owner of Bucky’s Complete Auto Repair.

The contractor was at the track working on improvements and talking with Livingston about where to paint lines on the pavement. Livingston, who was facing the track, spotted the sports car going out of control on a curve, spinning toward them, Reagan said.

Livingston attempted to pull the man away, but the vehicle struck him.

They were standing off the track behind chainlink fencing next portable toilets, the deputy said, and should have been safe.

A driver who was leaving the track said the crash was very loud.

The victim, whose body remained at the scene, was not going to be identified until after next of kin are notified and the county medical examiner allows the name to be released.

His company is based in Post Falls, Reagan said.

About 30 sports car drivers were at the track running practice laps. They were of various ages and some were from out of the area.

According to the schedule of Spokane County Raceway, the track was running an event by Scott Adare Motorsports that began at 8 a.m. Another driver who left the track after the accident confirmed that in a brief interview.

On Saturday, the park was scheduled to host its its Grand Opening 125 for Super Late Models.

County commissioners 13 months ago voted 2-1 in favor of buying the 315-acre track, a purchase that sparked controversy over spending $4.5 million for what critics called a non-essential property. Commissioner Bonnie Mager voted no, calling the decision “totally irresponsible.”

County officials have said the 25-year contract with Austin will cover the county’s payments on its debt. According to previous news accounts, Austin will pay the county $10,000 a month until 2014, when the monthly rent will increase by 2 percent annually.

Austin also has agreed to pay the county $2 for each ticket sold and has guaranteed that the county’s portion of gate proceeds will be at least $150,000 in 2009, $200,000 in 2010 and $250,000 for each of the three years after that.

The facility includes a quarter-mile drag strip, half-mile oval and 2½-mile road course, where the accident occurred.

Livingston previously said in an interview with the newspaper that portions of the track were being realigned with changes to run off areas and surface repairs. New concession stands are being installed.


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