Separate crashes at Missouri State Fair Sunday night injured several people, including bystanders, authorities said.
At least five people were injured just after 9 p.m. during the Battle of the Badges charity race, which involved old police cars.
An off-duty police officer lost control of a personally owned race car and struck five people in the infield of the track.
A 34-year-old woman from California, MO, and a 57-year-old Columbia, MO, man were seriously injured. A 27-year-old woman was injured and taken to Bothwell Hospital in Sedalia and is expected to recover. Two others were treated and released at the scene.
Arch Simpson was at the race with one of the people who was sent to the hospital with a leg injury. He saw the car as it came towards them.
"I seen the car coming. And I hollered at another friend of mine that was standing there beside him." said Simpson.
He told his friend to duck because a car was headed right towards him through the guard rail.
"So we hit the ground, me and him both. Pretty scary. I had been going to races for 35 years, and I have never seen anything like that one," he said.
The officers were driving personally owned race cars for a fundraiser called "Battle of the Badges." The event raises funds for Special Olympics.
A second separate crash that happened about 8:15 p.m. sent a 15-year-old race-car driver from Carrolton, MO, after he lost control of his vehicle, which overturned several times.
He was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Columbia with serious injuries.
The Missouri Highway Patrol continues to conduct its investigation while fair officials continue the cleanup.
Some Sedalia residents believe the fair should build a stronger barrier fence. Others fear the end to racing, which they said is unacceptable.
"I don't think they should shut it down," Weston Bailey, a racing fan, said. "You're going to take that chance anyway racing."
Jake Forrester, another racing fan, agreed.
"When they're out there racing, that's just part of it. Accidents happen," he said. "that's like saying you are going to shut down I=70 for driving down the highway and crashing."
A spokesman for the fair said it is too early to talk about safety changes and precautions. No decisions will be made until MHP completes its report.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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