ARTICLE SEATTLE TIMES 4/12: Seattle Times Article
UPDATE 4/11/ from Dave Boutell: Thank you everyone once again for your well wishes, thoughts and prayers. John is improving everyday. The past two days he has spoken a few words. Everyone's name I mention he recognizes. His memory is sharp, but he is in a lot of pain. The nurses are amazed at this recovery. He has good mobility with his arms and is grabbing at everything in sight. His legs are in casts so he has a little trouble moving them. Hopefully he will be moved out of ICU in the next couple of days. He will likely be hospitalized for the next five weeks and the doctors expect a full recovery in six months to a year.
I have received alot of requests for a place to send cards and donations. Please send cards and donations to the Cascade Push Truck Association office:
Cascade Push Truck Association
c/o John Krause
12513 SE 212th Place
Kent, WA 98031
To: Racing West
Thank you for the coverage you have given regarding this accident. I hope that everyone out there thinks not only about John, but also thinks about this when there is a caution on any race track. Being a safety worker on a track is one of the most vulnerable and dangerous places to be. I would hope that rack officials in pit meetings will remind their drivers that they do not need to be in such a hurry to catch the field when coming out of the pits. I know it is racing and that is what racers do, but maybe we need to change that thinking and allow time for these drivers to catch the field. Thank you once again for your coverage.
To clarify the story on the incident....
John and I were in turn four about one groove up directing the field high or low depending on where the track clean up crew were working. The field knew where we were and watched for us on each lap of caution. A car came out of hte pits and proceeded to catch the field. As he came around 3 and 4 we waved our arms to get the drivers attention to slow down because the clean up crew were on the front stretch. John and I both realized that the driver did not see us and ran to the inside of the track. I believe the driver, trying to steer around us went low putting all of us in the same place. John was hit by the front wing and thrown into the upper wing of the car (he never was under the car). He stayed on the upper wing until the car came to a stop and he landed on the pavement. I happend to be a bout 30 feet towards the front stretch from John and was able to dive out of the way. I personally have no hard feelings about the incident. The driver was doing what came natural, he was tying to catch ,he was trying to catch the field.
I hope this clarifies what happend. I know there are alot of stories going aorund and I just wanted to get the truth out.
Cascade Push Truck Association
Latest update 4/10:
From the family and friends of John, Thank You all for your kind words and prayers.
I visited John yesterday and he opened his eyes and looked at me. He was upgraded from critical to serious condition yesterday. I spoke with him a while and he acknowledged everything I was saying to him. He cannot talk because he has a tube in his mouth to assist with his breathing ( due to the broken ribs). He should get the tube removed today. He reached up and grabbed my hand, so he has movement and was able to do hand signals to let me know some things. I told him I'd have to make a special seat in my truck for him to take him racing and he gave me a thumbs up. I'll keep you posted and once again, thank you form all of us.
Cascade Push Truck Association
An exciting night of racing at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, (Wash.) was lessened by an upsetting tragedy during the NSRA Sprint race. While under caution, a track worker was hit by one of the cars. Said a crew member , "he was hit, thrown over the top of the car and, from what I heard from eye witnesses, drug for some distance. The race was red flagged for 45 minutes until the track worker could be air lifted to a trauma unit in Seattle. I was at the other end of the track and didn't see the accident and I am glad I did not. Last I heard last night, he was in very critical condition with head trauma. A bad situation for everyone involved.”
Condition of the injured push-truck driver is not known at this time. Those wanting to leave condolences for the worker on RacingWest may email them to Cares@RacingWest.com.
The family and friends of the injured Push Truck Driver would like you to know that he is in critical, but stable condition. Internal injuries were stabilized by the medical staff and when I left this morning they were planning on operating on his broken legs.
Thank you to all of the medical staff at Monroe for the excellent work you did.
Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
Cascade Push Truck Assosciation
PS - Thank you Chris and Melinda.
UPDATE 4/8 SEATTLE TIMES -Northwest Auto Racing
Track employee still in critical condition
by Seattle Times staff and The Associated Press
MONROE - A race-track employee remained in critical condition yesterday after being struck by a car during a race, authorities said.
The 45-year-old employee of Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, whose name has not been released, was struck by a winged sprint car late Saturday night while directing race traffic during a delay after a car spilled oil on the track during the race's fourth lap.
As the official was directing traffic, a car driven by Todd Coleman of Lynnwood had left the pit area and was on the track but had not yet joined the pack of cars under the yellow caution flag. Coleman's car hit the official, who was wearing a bright orange jacket, at the start of the straightaway.
"I am totally devastated by this," said Coleman, 35, who estimated he was traveling about 70 mph. "It was just a freak accident."
Coleman said he saw the track employee as he came around the corner and quickly had to decide which way to veer to avoid him.
"I didn't know which way to go, and he didn't know which way to go," he said. "Unfortunately, he moved the opposite way I thought he would."
The injured employee was flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was in critical condition and undergoing surgery for internal injuries, a nursing supervisor said.
A crowd of more than 4,000 was in the stands for Evergreen Speedway's season-opening racing at the time of the accident.
The small, open-wheeled cars, which have "wings" on top to improve handling, reach racing speeds as high as 160 mph. Officials said the one that struck the worker was going 70 to 80 mph.
MRO/NASCAR FSWS Chaplain: My thoughts and prayers are with this track worker and his family. Those guys always do a vital job, and do it superbly.
MRO/NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series
RBNWS TEAM 73: Best wishes for a "speedy" recovery from the Gary Lewis Racing #73 NW Series Team!
South Sound SS #98: Our thoughts and prayers are with John and his family!! With out these
type of people our racing wouldn't be as organized!! May we pray for a
Brian & Kathy Boman
#6 Evergreen Bomber:
I hope everything is going well, hope to see you back at the track soon, Get well.
Promotions Manager, Las Vegas Motor Speedway: My best wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the worker at Evergreen injured last Saturday. My prayers are with him and his family.
Back in 1989, I was in charge of the Safety Crew at the Las Vegas International Speedrome (now the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway). On the last lap of the last race of the '89 season(October 15th), I was struck by a Street Stock that drove into the infield. Even though I tried to out run the car I couldn't. The impact threw me approximatly 20' into the air and broke both of my legs just above the ankle and two of the vertabre in my back. My left leg was so severly broken that my foot was only attached by the tendon. I still have the scares and the steel rods in my legs and can tell when it is going to rain.
I recovered very fast and was at PIR for Copper World in February of 1990 to help one of the local racers compete in the Stock Car portion of the event. I owe my life to the people at the track and the hospital. I owe my mental and spirtual wellbeing to my family and friends. Everyone in the racing community came to my aid and kept me in their thoughts and prayers. I would like to ask everyone in the racing community to keep this gentleman and his family in our hearts and let him and his family and friends know that we all wish him an even faster recovery as I had.
My prayers are with you.
Promotions Manager, Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Wenachtee Valley Super Oval: John, our wishes and prayers are with you and your family for a speedy and easy recovery. We'll keep you posted of all the happenings at WVSO, and you keep that smile on your face and know that your friends are right behind and beside you all the way! We'll miss you. But we want you to know that there will always be a big blue truck on our track, even if you are not there.
Kelly and Kaleb, and I am sure all of us at WVSO.
Ultra Wheels Super Truck Series: To the track worker and his family:
Our thoughts are with you. Anytime a fellow race enthusiast is harmed
is causes us all to stop and realize how fortunate we are to be able to
be out racing on Saturday nights. We have chosen a hobby that can
be very dangerous at times. We thank each and everyone of our family
members, friends, and personnel at the tracks that support our racing.
We never wish to see harm come to another and want you to know how
much the job you do is appreciated. We are hoping you will be out of the
hospital and back with your family soon.
All of the teams in the Ultra Wheels Super Truck Series, California
Matt Murphy Racing - #00 Super Stock: Our entire team wishes you a speedy recovery and our hearts will be with you as we open the season without you this Saturday night.
NASCAR Late Model 75 : John and family keep the faith, the people at Harborview are the best
caregivers in the world, I spent some time there and I know.