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2 killed in Sprint car crash at Marysville Raceway Park

1:00 PM, Mar 18, 2013   |    comments
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MARYSVILLE, Calif. (KXTV) -- Two people were killed after a Sprint car lost control at the Marysville Raceway Park Saturday evening.

An announcer at the track Steven Blakesley told ABC News the car, driven by Chase Johnson, had apparent mechanical problems and did not make the corner at turn 1. The car hit the left wall and then crashed into the two victims.

The Yuba County Sheriff's Department identified the people killed in the accident as 68-year-old Dale Wondergem Jr. of Grass Valley and 14-year-old Marcus Johnson of Santa Rosa.

The Yuba County Sheriff's Department said Wondergem was pronounced dead at the scene; Johnson was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The sheriff's department said no other people were injured.

Both Johnson and Wondergem were connected to race teams and had a legitimate reason to be in the pit area, sheriff's officials said.

Wondergem was described by witnesses as the owner of a race car at the track, but he was not the owner of Johnson's car.

Marcus Johnson is the cousin of the driver Chase Johnson. It was reported that Marcus was not an official member of Chase Johnson's pit crew, his presence in the pit area is being investigated, sheriff's officials said.

The crash happened during hot laps, which started at 6 p.m. The race was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Crowds were at the park for the California Sprint Car Civil War Series. Events at the raceway have been cancelled after the crash.

The 30 teams who entered in the race have donated their combined entrance fee of around $10,000 to the families of the victims, Blakesley told ABC News.

On its Facebook page, the Marysville Raceway Park posted, "Our thoughts and deepest prayers go out to everyone. Out of respect we will not elaborate on details. We ask everyone to respect each other and the families."


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