Vehicle slams through guard rail into spectators at Texas mud race

Fabens, Texas — At least eight people – perhaps dozens — were injured Sunday evening when a vehicle plowed into a crowd at a mud racing event in Texas.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that at 6:35 p.m., a vehicle left the mud track and crashed through a guard rail and into spectators. It happened on the 17600 block of Island Guadalupe Road, according to CBS El Paso affiliate KDBC-TV.

Three spectators were transported to a hospital in critical condition and five others were taken there with non-life-threatening injuries, the Sheriff’s Office statement said. None of the injured were identified by authorities.

KVIA-TV reports that El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego told it 29 people were hurt. The station says he was briefed by Chief Tom Whitten of the Sheriff’s Office.  

Three other vehicles were also hit as a result of the initial crash, the Sheriff’s Office statement added.

It wasn’t immediately known what caused the vehicle to leave the track.

“Today what happened was what we all hoped doesn’t happen. Is a wreck while racing,” said Scott Smith, owner of Rock Solid Protection, an El Paso-based security firm.

Smith, speaking at a news conference, said “the mud can tell the car where to go, at times” and that’s what he said happened in this crash.

Karla Huerta, who was watching the race when it turned tragic, described the scene as “pretty ugly.”

“Well, they started the race. And when they started, one of the trucks lost control and slammed into a pile of cars and people,” Huerta said. She said there were a lot of ambulances at the scene after the crash and that a lot of people were taken away.

The track is located in Fabens, Texas, about 40 miles southeast of El Paso and less than a mile from the Mexican border.

Authorities said an investigation was ongoing.

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