I have been working for Lime Rock Park (New Englands Oldest Race Track) for about 12 yrs as a firefighter and am a professional Paramedic by trade. I have never been in an accident like that before in all my years on the road. I was doing my job using the truck to “BLOCK” the corner workers and driver that was climbing from his car when all hell broke loose. My truck saved at least three people from serious injury/death. I did sustain a minor back injury but am ok. From what I know there were some type of fluids on the track. We were just about to clear from pulling the car from “Lake Lime Rock” when we saw 4 cars go off at station 5A. From what I recall the driver proceeded along the grass before crossing the track to assess the situation near station 5. We proceeded over there not knowing why they went off. As we were about to exit the truck I yelled to my crew to “Hold On…Their Coming” just before they began to exit the truck. Then I saw several cars spinning towards us at race speed. We braced for impact when I saw corner workers and the driver running (that was exiting his car). I punched the gas to block them as we were struck by three cars a total of 2 times each. The last hit was a hard one into the back of the truck. One car deflected off my truck into the back of the wrecker and got impaled on the wheel lift. Damage to our truck was moderate due to the fact that I punched the gas to cover all running on foot. We had forward momentum as we were getting struck and most of the cars were actually lower than our rocker panels. It was crazy. I feel no driver was at fault (beside mechanical issues – causing fluid on the track or what ever). As far as the flaggers, I do not know if any flags were or were not out. I assume yes because we were on track but don’t quote me on that, I never looked to at the stations to see as the event was unfolding. All drivers were ok (thanks for high safety standards)and my crew was ok. That is the most important thing. We at Lime Rock Fire Rescue try to maintain a high standard to protect ourselves, racers and fans and it shows that “blocking” in this case worked. Several in car videos have been turned over to us as well as several still pictures. Some links are below.
1. Proper placement of vehicles protects crew and workers on foot
2. Think ahead of potential impact zone before allowing crew to exit vehicle.
3. Always have someone with keep eyes on on-coming traffic and have some type of loud audible device to signal crews working that a potential “hit” is coming. A whistle works good.
4. Always have an exit path to safety in a potential impact zone.
5. Debrief after each incident to educate about “blocking and Impact zones”