The excitement of the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix at Reliant Park turned to horror Sunday afternoon when four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti crashed into a catch fence during the final lap of the second race. USA Today reports that he suffered a spinal fracture, a fractured right ankle and a concussion. He was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.
Thirteen spectators were injured when debris from Franchitti's car was catapulted into the stands. Two were being treated at local hospitals, according to the Associated Press.
Reports are that Franchitti, ex-husband of actress Ashley Judd, will not require surgery but he will remain in the hospital overnight. Three cars were involved in the accident with drivers E.J. Viso and Takuma Sato walking away safely from the scene.
The Los Angeles Times reports, "Franchitti's car clipped the tire of the car driven by Sato when the two were coming out of Turn 5 on the final lap at the Reliant Park race course and sent the car of the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner soaring into the fence." The crash ended the race.