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He Was Watching the Race. Then a Car Jumped the Fence

67-year-old Richard Speck killed at Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2019 12:40 PM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / braverabbit)

(Newser) – A fun Friday night out at the racetrack turned deadly for one spectator in Pennsylvania. NBC News reports that two race cars collided while zipping around Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, and when one of the cars lost control and hit a wall, the force propelled it over the track's infield fence. On the other side of that fence was 67-year-old Richard Speck Jr., a track volunteer who was watching the activity from the back of his pickup truck. The car that PennLive says was driven by Robbie Kendall slammed right into Speck's truck, which caused Speck to suffer multiple traumatic injuries, per police and the coroner's office. Speck was pronounced dead at the scene.

The speedway canceled the rest of the night's event "due to the severity of the accident," it noted in a Facebook post. PennLive explains that Speck, a grandfather of two and fifth grade math teacher for more than three decades, operated what's known as a "push truck," a vehicle at the racetrack that helps give certain types of race cars that don't have batteries or starters a literal push to get them going. Kendall was said to be OK after the crash, as was Anthony Macri, the driver of the car that Kendall originally crashed with. "Drivers may receive the fame, but every person who comes on a Friday night makes up the genetics of our race track," the speedway wrote of Speck's death. "We will forever have a void after losing one of our own." (Read more auto racing stories.)

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