By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9
NOBLE, Oklahoma -- It's a dangerous sport, but usually a safe one at a local raceway. But a drag racing accident over the weekend near Noble has landed a South Carolina man in the hospital.
Thunder Valley Raceway Park south of Noble is usually busy on the weekend. But last Saturday night something went awry.
Drag racing is a dangerous sport at all times and all places. Drivers need cool nerves to handle their hot cars. According to a Cleveland County sheriff's report, there was an accident at about 10 p.m. Saturday at Thunder Valley--an accident that injured South Carolina driver Augustus Michael Mallios.
"The information we have is that a drag race was occurring, that something happened with the driver's vehicle," Cleveland County Undersheriff Rhett Burnett said. "We don't know if it was a break failure, or if the parachute didn't open, but whatever reason at the end of the run he could not slow down, and he engaged some barrels, I believe, that were at the end of the raceway."
Thunder Valley has a good safety record. It keeps an ambulance on hand. And authorities can't recall any earlier accidents.
"To our knowledge we've never had any problems down there at Thunder Valley, nor have we had any calls down there for service," Burnett said.
Mallios was taken by helicopter to the OU Medical Center. At last report, he was listed in serious condition.
Attempts to contact the owners of Thunder Valley for comment were not successful.