Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Monroe County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
LONG POND – One fan was killed and nine others injured Sunday after being struck by lightning in the midst of a violent thunderstorm that overwhelmed Pocono Raceway just after the conclusion of NASCAR‘s Pennsylvania 400, track officials confirmed.
The victim, whose name was not released pending the notification of family, was pronounced dead at Pocono Medical Center by emergency room director Dr. Peter Favini, raceway president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky said. Nine others remained hospitalized at various area hospitals, one critically.
“Unfortunately, a member of our raceway family here, a fan, has passed away,” Igdalsky said. “On behalf of myself and my entire family and everybody here, really heartfelt thoughts.”
Track spokesman Bob Pleban said one of the injured fans remained in critical condition at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. Two others were taken to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, one with a moderate injury and the other with a minor one. Another fan with a minor injury was taken to Pocono Medical Center, and five others were treated and released at the raceway.
Pocono Raceway gets a big gold star for installing a 40,000 solar panel grid that will provide all the power for the racetrack and additional power for close 1,000 homes as well. The $15,000,000.00 project was unveiled today and officials are hoping that the final link can be completed by Sunday’s NASCAR race.
The solar grid will eliminate the race tracks $250,000.00 annual estimated electric bill! It is now the largest solar-powered sports facility in the world. Pocono Raceway will also benefit from selling the excess power they generate as well as eliminating more than 3,104 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
And by the way, those solar panels were made right here in the USA!