- March 25, 2022
- Attorney Matt Stoddard
- Premises Liability
Owners of all different kinds of properties are responsible for providing a safe environment for their guests.
This does not mean that no one is ever allowed to host activities with an inherent element of risk, like racing and other extreme sports. However, venue owners must take all reasonable precautions to make sure these activities aren’t any more dangerous than they have to be. They also have a duty to warn their guests in detail about any risks that can’t be eliminated.
The fact that a sport is dangerous does not automatically negate all of the venue owner’s responsibilities to the participants, spectators, or support crew. When accidents happen because of poorly maintained premises liability, outdated or shoddy equipment, or bad safety policies, the venue is liable for the resulting injuries.
A Crash at Cochran Motor Speedway Injured Seven, at Least Two of them Seriously
On a Saturday evening at the end of February, a car somehow left the track at Cochran Motor Speedway in Bleckley County, injuring seven people. Two of them were still in the hospital by the next Monday.
According to the track’s official statement, the crew was preparing for an open practice, when “a participating race car” struck the front wall and entered the pit area, where the injuries occurred. The statement does not mention what these preparations involved, or whether it was usual for there to be cars on the track at the same time.
Cochran Motor Speedway is owned by the Martin family, and two of the injured were Chris and Parker Martin, a father and son. Surveys of the family’s social media posts indicate that Parker was airlifted from the site, but tests for a suspected spinal injury were negative. Scans found no broken bones.
One witness described seeing at least one head wound and a broken knee among the other victims. Their names have not been released, and the incident is under investigation.
Witness Reports Suggest Questionable Safety and Possible Coverups
Cochran Motor Speedway has a friendly reputation, and not only because it’s locally owned. The witness who described the injuries also described people from all different teams running to help after the accident, and said that’s something she loves about this particular track.
She did note, however, that the spot where the car impacted is exactly where she usually stands, along with many other people.
The accident happened just hours after the Cochran Motor Speedway updated its posted rules with new state regulations, which ban spectators from standing in the infield. It’s possible this is why the witness wasn’t standing in her usual spot. If so, the change may have saved her life and others just in time.
Still, it shouldn’t have taken a state mandate to get spectators behind protective barriers, and the fact that everyone survived this accident doesn’t mean that all is now well with the Speedway’s safety protocols.
Multiple news sources have alluded to video footage of the crash, which allegedly shows the car breaking through the safety wall before reaching the pit. WGXA has directly stated that they have seen such footage, but that they are unable to show it, because their source was threatened with jail if they released it. If this is true, it strongly suggests that someone connected with the crash is aware of their own wrongdoing and trying to hide it.
The injured and their families deserve the truth. They deserve compensation for any harm the Cochran Motor Speedway could have prevented but chose not to.
If you were injured at the Cochran Motor Speedway, reach out to The Stoddard Firm to learn more about your rights and possible next steps.