Eagle-Alvo Rural Fire District

EAGLE – A 35-year-old Lincoln man, Justin Vanderharr, remained in critical condition on Tuesday from a Saturday evening accident at Eagle Raceway.

A Bellevue man, Michael Ramsey, was also injured in the accident, but was later released from a hospital.

According to Cass County Sheriff William Brueggemann, deputies from his department, along with Eagle and Alvo rescue personnel and county paramedics responded around 6:45 p.m. to an accident involving race cars in the pits at the raceway.

John Austin, 60, of Lincoln, had just finished his heat race in his “Hobby Stock” racecar, but near the start/finish line his car’s throttle became stuck in the open position. The car left the track via the pit exit at a high rate of speed and became airborne where it then struck a parked and unoccupied racecar that was pushed into an all-terrain vehicle, according to the sheriff.

This group of vehicles was then pushed into a group of people, and into another parked racecar, according to Brueggemann. The collision pinned Vanderharr underneath the last racecar, which was then lifted up by several people at the scene to free him.

Vanderharr was transported by Alvo Rescue to Lincoln’s Bryan LGH West Hospital in critical condition with head and internal injuries, according to Brueggemann.

Medical helicopters were called, but were unable to fly due to weather. Ramsey, 55, was also transported to that Lincoln hospital and was later released.

A third party, name not provided, was transported to Lincoln’s St. Elizabeth’s Hospital by Eagle Rescue. All others that were injured have been released from the hospitals, according to Brueggemann.

Several other individuals refused treatment at the scene, he added.

Raceway officials were able to verify that a malfunction caused the throttle to stick open, according to Brueggemann.

The investigation continues, he added.

A silent auction will be held this Saturday in the courtyard area of the raceway to benefit Vanderharr and his family. The bidding will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For those interested in donating any items to be auctioned off call 402-238-2595.

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