A mud racer in southern Texas went off the track and straight into the audience, footage of the incident has shown. Eight people were injured as the vehicle ploughed into the crowd.
Three of the injured were taken to hospital in critical condition and five others with injures that were not life-threatening.
“Today what happened was what we all hoped doesn’t happen. Is a wreck while racing,” Scott Smith, the owner of a security firm in El Paso, said at a press conference.
"The mud can tell the car where to go, at times," Mr Smith said, explaining that this is what happened.
Spectator Karla Huerta said the incident looked “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,” she said.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release: “The preliminary investigation revealed one of the vehicles due to unknown reasons left the mud-track striking and breaking through a guard rail.”
The mud racer also crashed into three other vehicles. Roberto Tovar filmed the moment when the mud racer lost control and veered into the crowd. He told CNN that he was okay.
In the footage, people can be heard screaming as the mud racer goes off course and veers towards the crowd before the video goes dark.
A separate video filmed during the aftermath shows what appears to be a white pickup truck under audience tents. At least one spectator can be seen laying on the ground with another person sitting next to them. Chairs and a barrier appear to have been knocked over.
Close by, a green vehicle that appears to be the mud racer has seemingly crashed into blue audience tents. Another vehicle looks to be under the blue tents as well. A group of people gathered around the area.
The authorities have not identified those who were injured. The status of the driver was also not made public.
An investigation remains ongoing, police said.
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