Police: Northern Virginia man charged for driving into people at Martinsville Speedway

Courtesy: NBCSports
Courtesy: NBCSports

(WSLS 10) – A Fairfax County man has been charged with reckless driving following Sunday night’s incident at Martinsville Speedway.

At 5:38 p.m. on Sunday, state and local law enforcement began receiving reports of pedestrians being struck in a parking lot outside the speedway.

Twenty-two people were injured, but no one was killed.

State police say the incident happened after the race in the handicapped parking area outside of Turn 2 of the speedway. The parking lot was congested with vehicles and pedestrians when a 2005 Chevrolet SSR convertible attempted to pass a Jeep Liberty. The Chevrolet struck the Jeep and then struck several nearby pedestrians.

Gary T. Edem, 65, of Fairfax, Va., the driver of the Chevy, was taken custody at the scene without incident and the magistrate charged him with reckless driving and placed him on an unsecured bond of $7,500, according to police.

Neither the driver nor passenger in the Jeep was injured in the crash. The driver was a 73-year-old male from Joplin, Mo., and the passenger was a 36-year-old male from Bentonville, Ark.

Of the 22 injured, 12 were transported to Memorial Hospital of Martinsville, Va., for treatment of non-life threatening injuries:

  • 48-year-old female from Troutman, N.C.
  • 65-year-old male from Plainville, Ga.
  • 49-year-old female from Danville, Va.
  • 34-year-old female from Henry, Va.
  • 43-year-old male from Greensboro, N.C.
  • 34-year-old female from Greensboro, N.C.
  • 60-year-old male from Xenia, Ohio
  • 61-year-old female from Xenia, Ohio
  • 45-year-old male from Dalton, Ga.
  • 12-year-old male from Danville, Va.
  • 51-year-old male from Greensboro, N.C.
  • 53-year-old female from Reidsville, N.C.

There were a total of five transported to Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden, N.C., for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. State police has only been able to confirm through the hospital two of the identities those individuals: a 40-year-old female and her 15-year-old daughter, both of Ararat, Va.

The remaining five individuals were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Additional charges are pending as the investigation remains ongoing by the Virginia State Police, in consultation with the Henry County Commonwealth’s Attorney Andrew Nester. The Virginia State Police Salem Division’s Crash Reconstruction Scene responded to the scene to assist with the ongoing investigation into the matter.

The Ridgeway District Volunteer Rescue, Ridgeway District Volunteer Fire, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, City of Martinsville Sheriff’s Office, Martinsville Speedway officials, Henry County Department of Public Safety and Virginia State Police responded to the scene.

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