Sedalia, MO Stock Car Racing Accident, Aug 1965


Sedalia, Mo. (AP) -- Four persons were killed and 13 were injured yesterday when a stock racing car, thrown out of control by a tire blowout, slammed into spectators at the Missouri State Fair.
About 10,000 persons were in the grandstand at the race track when the car, on a time trial for a 100-mile stock car race, left the track and burst through a fence.
Many of the spectators hospitalized were children.
The scene was bedlam. Spectators converged on the area seeking relatives. One trooper broke out in sobs. Women screamed on recognizing their children.
Jest a few seconds before the accident, a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper issued warnings over a loud speaker for the spectators along that section of the fence to leave. He said they were in a restricted area, which was closed to spectators.
The spectators; lined up against the chain link fence enclosing the track, had crawled under a fence to get into the area.
The victims were identified as:
GLENN S. TAYLOR, Maysville, Mo.
WILLIAM E. McCARTNEY, 21, Amity, Mo.
RICKIE BRANDT, 4, Wichita, Kan.
BILL CRAIN, Liberty, Mo., driver of the 1964 Dodge stock car, escaped injury.
The accident occurred on the southside of the grandstand as the car was going into the first turn.

Waterloo Courier Iowa 1965-08-29


As a young teenager then, I

As a young teenager then, I was working just inside the south end of the grandstand right next to the accident site, I could clearly see out the door. I distinctly remember the Highway Patrolman numerous times telling the spectators to get back from the fence and behind the rope barrier. They would do so, but as soon as the patrolman left they would go right back next to the fence. I believe this is the same patrolman mentioned that was sobbing so sadly.

There are some details

There are some details missing from the AP account. I was on the fence a sustained a minor injury. There was no "fence". There was an old picket fence that was not standing in most places, and some old tape strung around a few stakes. Also, there were two highway patrol officers about 75 feet away the whole time watching a vendors access road, standing next to their patrol cars. I did not hear one of them warning us "a few seconds" before the crash, but it does not mean they didn't. One of the officers was not much help after the accident, as I remember him stumbling around talking incoherently after the car went through. However, it was a normal reaction to the carnage. Out of respect for those killed, I won't identify the individual, but one victim was decapitated. The driver of the car was wandering around in shock also. I'm curious what his life was like after this accident. This reprint is all there is about this that I can find. I remember after it happened, I looked in the Kanas City Star everyday to try to get follow up in the accident. There was nothing.


I was one of those on the fence who was injured(minor). 14 years old. I remember reading this posted AP story the next day. There are several inaccuracies (either in the reporting or what was stated to the reporter by the highway patrol) that were never addressed.There was no trooper with a loud speaker issuing a warning "a few seconds" before the crash. There was nothing posted that indicated it was a restricted area. My friend and I thought it was okay to be up by the fence because there were two patrol cars and two patrolmen standing outside the cars just down from the accident site ( 40-50 yards) They were controlling an internal access area/road right behind where we were standing, where vendor suppliers were came through and could easily observe people standing on the fence.

The so-called fence the "spectators crawled under" was twine that was tied between some stakes and small trees with little pieces of orange/red cloth tied around it in a few places. There was nothing present that would easily distinguish this area as restricted. People just pulled the twine up and walked under it. I was standing/holding onto the fence for about 10-15 minutes before I was suddenly on my back with the fence on top of me. The car went through it about 20 yards past me.

The article does, in general, accurately describe the at the scene after the crash. It was very gruesome (the story left out those details) and it was about 5-7 minutes before the highway patrolmen who were present (I assume it was the two who were standing nearby and observed the accident) to began taking control of the scene.

I don't recall any further investigation or follow-up after the accident, but I hope those who had loved ones killed or maimed were justly compensated for what was clearly neglect on the part of those managing the facility who were responsible for the public's safety.

My friend who was on the fence with me became a MO Highway Patrolman and is now retired.