Crash at California race track leaves 2 dead

Tom Pennington

Prior to a race at a track near Marysville, a young driver lost control and slammed into a wall in pit lane, killing two people in the pits.

A driver lost control of his car on Saturday evening at Marysville Raceway Park in California, slamming into a wall in the track's pit lane and killing two people, according to Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee and News10 KXTV.

The driver was 17-year-old Chase Johnson, who is a student at nearby Petaluma High School. Racetrack announcer Steven Blakesley was the first person to report on the crash, tweeting out the following just after 6 p.m. PT:

We have had a very serious accident. Chase Johnson had a problem and flew into the pits. Several people appear to be injured.

KXTV reports that one of the victims was Johnson's 14-year-old cousin, while the other is an individual who owned "a few cars in the race." The 68-year-old car owner was pronounced dead at the scene, while the teen was transported to a nearby hospital before being pronounced dead. Johnson was uninjured in the crash, and no others were hurt, according to the Yuba County Sheriff's Department.

Blakesley told KXTV that the car appeared to have suffered a mechanical problem before the crash, which took place during a pre-race practice session.

Saturday's race was canceled following the crash. The drivers have agreed to donate all gate proceeds to the families of the victims.

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