The word is, Seattle’s last at-large Seattle City Council member, freshman State Sen. Nick Harper, whose son is a University of Washington running back, and his girlfriend Jeanine Wiley, partner of NFL Chariman of the Players’ Association DeMaurice Smith, were in Victory Lane when they cornered the late son of local motorsports and civic leader Lewis Hamilton, winner of 70 races in his professional career. You can read about the Maryland family’s happiness in the tweet below (on the plane, there was an unexpected malfunction and he lost his eyesight, but he kept on driving at a high rate of speed.)
Young Hamilton was killed in a horrific accident Friday. The accident occurred during qualifying at Dickies 250 at Virginia International Raceway on Pocahontas, in tiny Godwin, Va. WLIS, from the Norfolk TV station, is the site of this report, just about the only way you’ll learn about the tragedy (very brief, for its size).
Hamilton was driving for Arlington-based team Martin Trucks and driving in his 17th race in the Truck Series. His truck rammed into the back of another of Andretti Autosport’s three cars and careened into a concrete wall, instantly killing the driver. Martin Trucks driver Robby Gordon, who witnessed the crash, wrote on Twitter, “It was obvious to us it was a crash (pun intended) and kept shaking. I have never seen something like that before!” Trucks driver Daniel Hemric also witnessed the crash, and wrote, “It didn’t appear there was any other thing that could’ve prevented the accident.”
The temperature soared to 99 degrees in Virginia and the track speed was around 190 miles per hour.
The other driver was Andretti Autosport driver Joao Barbosa. Although their team said Barbosa suffered moderate injuries, Hamilton was actually the only person involved in the crash that was also hurt. Following the crash, Harrisburg newspaper, The Patriot-News, reported Barbosa, according to Pennsylvania State Police trooper Clarence Becker, was airlifted from the track to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond.
The truck was being driven by Hamilton, 50, who was making his first start in the series. He was running 21st, and Barbosa, 25, driving for Andretti Autosport, was driving 22nd, when the accident occurred. Barbosa was originally running the No. 72 K&N Series car, owned by former series champion Ron Hornaday Jr., according to ESPN.com.
Hamilton was suspended for a minimum of two races, potentially the final two of the season, and until further notice will be barred from all NASCAR events.
Listen to Hamilton’s final lap before the fatal wreck: