- A tire was ripped off Kyle Kirkwood’s car after a crash during the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.
- The tire flew through the spectator stands and struck a parked sedan.
- At least two spectators have been killed by a flying tire in Indianapolis 500 history.
Spectators at the Indy 500 race on Sunday got a brief scare after a crash caused a tire to fly off a driver’s vehicle and barely miss the spectator stands before landing on someone’s parked white car.
During the final 14 laps, driver Felix Rosenqvist collided with a wall, causing him to spin out of control and onto the track.
Immediately, Kyle Kirkwood came up from behind and hit Rosenqvist. The contact ripped the left rear tire of Kirkwood’s Andretti Autosport Honda, sending it flying through the air and narrowly missing the spectator stands.
The rest of Kirkwood’s car spun out of control and flipped over. Kirkwood was uninjured in the crash, according to an NBC Sports broadcast on the incident.
A video posted to Twitter appeared to show the tire landing on someone’s white Chevrolet sedan.
—Andrew Kossack (@AndrewKossack) May 28, 2023
Indy 500 drivers put themselves at considerable risk when reaching speeds of more than 200 mph. But audience members may also face some danger, albeit on very rare occasions.
At least two spectators in Indy 500 history have been killed by an errant wheel, according to Indy Motor Speedway.
In May 1938, spectator Everett G. Spence was killed while watching the race on top of a truck in the track’s infield. according to the indianapolis news. The newspaper reported that the wheel and tire came off driver Emil Andres’ car and struck Spence in the head as he sat next to his wife.
In 1987, another bystander, Lyle Kurtenbach, died of head injuries after a wheel from Tony Bettenhausen’s car struck another vehicle and then went airborne, striking Kurtenbach. The Los Angeles Times reported.
After the fatal incident, the fence was raised from 15 feet to 19 feet, 8 inches, according to The Indianapolis Star.
A spokesperson for the event did not respond to a request for comment sent over the weekend.