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History A bad day at the drags in the 1960s.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by James Maxwell, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. James Maxwell
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 549

    James Maxwell
    Member
    from So-Cal

    Aaa
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  2. LANCE-SPEED
    Joined: Aug 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,259

    LANCE-SPEED
    Member

  3. BISHOP
    Joined: Jul 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,571

    BISHOP
    Member

    Ive never seen a track without guard rails.........

    Sad story.
     
  4. Well that certainly brightened up my day.
     

  5. cj92345
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 155

    cj92345
    Member
    from so-cal

    did'nt "big jim dunn" go into the crowd or something like that back in the 80's, seems like tore though some fencing,,,butter flies stuck or something
    just heard a about it 1 time....i could be wrong though:confused:
     
  6. Why, some 40 years later, would you feel the need start this thread today ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  7. Do you know how that accident happened?

    A funny car known as the "Dixie Twister' driven by Huston Platt (brother of Hubert Platt) got crossed up while racing Frank Oglesby driving Dyno Don Nicholson's Cougar Funny. Platt got out of control and popped his chute. It just so happened that a spectator dropped his beer over the chainlink fence he was leaning over at the very moment the cars launched. The beer landed upright and the guy leaned way over to retrieve it. Well, at that moment, Platt's chute caught the guy and drug him up into the chute, decapitating the man instantly. The mass of that guy's body in the chute caused Platt's car to veer right violently, going through the chainlink fence where there was a huge crowd standing. The car got tangled in the fence, rolled through the crowd, and then flipped back onto the strip.

    Forty plus people were injured with 12 dying. The strip owner had no insurance. It was, and still is, considered the worst accident in drag racing history.

    Today, the strip is the main road through a trailer park. I've been out there several times to see and photograph the place.

    This happened in May, 1969. A lot of things happened afterwards that improved the safety standards within the sport. It pretty much ended unsanctioned drag racing in Georgia.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2009
  8. I have seen pics of this accident somewhere..terrible.
     
  9. The Dixie Twister and Yellow River Dragway ....
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Here's a view showing how safe a track Yellow River was .... The people on the far side are lined up along the chainlink fence. This view shows about where the accident happened. The spectators could literally reach out and touch the cars.
    [​IMG]



    Here's looking down what use to be Yellow River Dragway. Many of the greats of the day raced there. However, I'm sure there were times when they would start to have second thoughts ....
    [​IMG]

    The accident happened just past the larger trees to the right.
     
  11. moses
    Joined: Dec 7, 2004
    Posts: 1,101

    moses
    Member

    wow terrible story but that was back in the day hood of thunk anything bad would happen.thanx for the info...jeffrey
     
  12. SteadyT
    Joined: Sep 11, 2007
    Posts: 482

    SteadyT
    Member

    There's a track in Spokane I can see something similar happening soon...
     
  13. Mad Mark
    Joined: Jun 23, 2007
    Posts: 481

    Mad Mark
    Member

    Your story didn't make much sense till I saw the photo of everyone leaning on the fence so close to the track. Having a sniffer's row seat is great till things go wrong.
     
  14. Yep, if you look at the fence in the far lane, there was about 6' - 8' from the fence to the track. On the other side, there was quite a bit more distance.

    Not too far from the far side fence was an embankment that lead down into the pit area.
     
  15. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    tfeverfred
    Member

    "Witnesses said that prior to the races the track announcer had asked spectators to move away from the fences paralleling the track, which had no guard rails."

    A sad turn of events, but like I said in another thread, no matter what the risk, some people will try and get as close to the "action" as possible. I sometimes think that if someone announced they were going to set off a nuclear bomb, you'd have some bozo sticking around to check it out.

    Unfortunately, the best lessons are learned the hard way.
     
  16. ratsled1951
    Joined: Nov 5, 2009
    Posts: 2

    ratsled1951
    Member

    thats crazy.the people livin there prob clueless
     
  17. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,340

    296ardun
    Member

    This was more common in the old days than people realize. At most old strips you could stand almost at the edge of the track. At Riverside in '61 I remember standing about 30 feet from the starting line watching the fuelers run...Karamesines almost ran over my feet...stupid, but I was young then (!) at Santa Ana, only a log separated the spectators from the track...no guard rails for years at Lion's or most other tracks...surprised that there were not more spectator fatalities or injuries.
     
  18. What a tragedy......It's a shame we learn by our mistakes....
     
  19. Randy in Oklahoma
    Joined: Sep 18, 2008
    Posts: 301

    Randy in Oklahoma
    Member
    from Oklahoma

    Not for sure why you would want to pray for people that have been dead for 40 years.

    You make the decesion where to spend eternity before death, not after.
     
  20. dino1
    Joined: Jun 20, 2009
    Posts: 28

    dino1
    Member
    from austin tx

    I bet you're a hoot at parties! : )
     
  21. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 877

    Scarebird
    Alliance Vendor
    from ABQ, USA

  22. Wow...I've been to that trailer park in Covington just a couple of months ago when I was sent to Georgia to handle flood claims when the Yellow River flooded.. I had no idea that it was the site of the Yellow river dragway.
     
  23. SundayNiagara
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 104

    SundayNiagara
    Member

    Yes, why?
     
  24. NITROFC
    Joined: Apr 17, 2001
    Posts: 6,177

    NITROFC
    BANNED

    Because it was found on a few other fourms this wk ..time to kill this thread please
     
  25. SundayNiagara
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 104

    SundayNiagara
    Member

    Agreed! I can't help but wonder who posted in the other forums.
     
  26. LANCE-SPEED
    Joined: Aug 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,259

    LANCE-SPEED
    Member

    I think it is a cool thread, a little dragrace history. Although a little sad, its still history. As far as all the praying and stuff??????????????
    Leave that to do in church on sunday.
     
  27. It would be foolish to stop this thread. Why stop it? it is false or misleading?

    OR is it in insight as to how dangerous and down right stupid some things were back in the day.
    I was just a small kid at the time it happened but, learned of it in my 30's.

    As much as we all like the 'good old days' or racing and rodding, the younger set needs to see that there was a lot of thoughtless and stupid things that happened too.
    Furthermore, there are valid reasons why many things are the way they are today because of back then.

    How many have complained of gaurdrails? how about SFI tags? how about tech inspection? santioned tracks? etc etc etc

    Let the truth be told about this and other stupid stuff that killed people or wounded them for life back in the day.
    By the way, I like the 'old' days as much as anyone but, they were FAR from perfect. Drag racing had deaths all the time back then- both spectators and racers. I won't even go into how many people were killed street racing. This includes many innocent people not involved in the race itself.

    Steve


    Hosting-
    Pontiac/Buick/Olds FALL FEST Sat Nov 28, 2009 Phoenix
    www.pbofallfest.org
    8th annual Nostalgic Show & Go! April 11, 2010 Phoenix
    www.nostalgicshowandgo.org
     

  28. This is true and prayers are hardly exclusively for Sunday at church. someone does not get it and that in itself is sad.

    Steve

    Hosting-
    Pontiac/Buick/Olds FALL FEST Sat Nov 28, 2009 Phoenix
    www.pbofallfest.org
    8th annual Nostalgic Show & Go! April 11, 2010 Phoenix
    www.nostalgicshowandgo.org
     
  29. luckyuhaul
    Joined: Jul 11, 2005
    Posts: 182

    luckyuhaul
    Member

    That's got to be the worst "dropped my beer story" ever.:(
     
  30. Oh, I have color video of this too. Has anyone else seen the video? I bought a nostalgia VHS tape in the 90s called 'Match Race Madness" and I am pretty sure this tragic event was covered.
    I wonder if it is on the net somewhere?

    Steve
    Hosting-
    Pontiac/Buick/Olds FALL FEST Sat Nov 28, 2009 Phoenix
    www.pbofallfest.org
    8th annual Nostalgic Show & Go! April 11, 2010 Phoenix
    www.nostalgicshowandgo.org
     

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