A day of fun and racing turned tragic today at South Carolina’s Ware Shoals Dragway in South Carolina, where a driver lost his life in a crash that also injured several spectators. Anthony Craig Owens, the 38 year old driver who passed away, was making a pass in what appears to be a 1980’s model Mazda. Owens was running in the left lane, when he lost control down track, crossed from the left lane into the right and struck the right retaining wall. He then veered back into the opposite wall, where he reportedly flipped over the barrier and into a spectator area.
Early reports were said to have included two fatalities, but as the rumors subsided and facts became clearer, a report of heroism emerged, as one of the spectators was able to push his child out of the way of the car. While the father and child were both injured, accounts from other witnesses say the man likely saved the boys life.
Footage from a video posted briefly on Facebook before being removed shows the beginning of the fatal crash. Anthony Owens, in the black car in the near lane, would lose control shortly after this point and crash hard into both walls before exiting the track and entering a spectator area.
Following the incident, tempers reportedly flared and fights broke out, leading to multiple arrests on the premises. Despite the circumstances, Ware Shoals management decided to continue with the event, which will hopefully ease the pain of losing a friend and fellow competitor and allow the Ware Shoals family to begin the healing process.
It is never easy to bring news of a racer or fan losing their life, but we are all familiar with the dangers associated with this sport we all love so dearly. We at Dragzine.com and the entire Power AutoMedia family send our sincerest prayers and deepest condolences to all those touched by today’s events, especially the Owens family, as well as the Ware Shoals Dragway racers and staff as they all come together to cope with the loss of their friend and competitor.