Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti was taken off the Reliant Park track on a stretcher after going airborne in a scary last-lap crash at Sunday’s Shell-Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston 2.
He was complaining about back and ankle pain, but Franchitti’s team owner said he was “OK.” E.J. Viso and Takuma Sato were also involved in the wreck.
Fans at the event also picked up injuries according to the Houston Fire Department (via ABC 12 in Houston). It was later reported that two fans were taken to the local hospital for treatment, and an additional 11 were cared for at the track.
As the race finished, medical personnel rushed to the 40-year-old driver’s side to attempt to extricate him from the car. They kept Franchitti inside his car for several minutes as the ambulance arrived on the scene, and he was subsequently placed into head and neck restraints on a stretcher and taken to the local hospital.
Sato finished 10th, Franchitti 11th and Viso 12th following the accident. Will Power, whose No. 12 car dominated the action in Houston, pulled away from Scott Dixon to win the race.
[UPDATE: Jeff Olson, Nate Ryan and Curt Cavin of the USA Today are reporting that he "suffered two broken vertebrae, a fractured right ankle and a concussion in a scary crash in which his car went airborne into the catchfence during Sunday's Houston Grand Prix." They also report he underwent "surgery Sunday to repair his right ankle, Target Ganassi Racing spokesperson Kelby Krauss told USA TODAY Sports."]