SAN ANTONIO — One law professor anticipates lawsuits on the horizon related to Saturday’s drag racing event in Kerrville that left two children dead and eight people injured.
“It’s a great tragedy and the injuries and the loss of life are very regrettable, and it seems very likely to me that there’s going to be litigation that will come out of this,” said Vincent Johnson, St. Mary’s University law professor.
Airport Race Wars 2 was billed as an action-packed family-friendly event at the Kerrville-Kerr County Airport.
The event reportedly attracted at least 3,000 people.
The Kerrville Police Department’s investigation revealed one of the drivers lost control and slammed into a crowd of spectators.
As a result, two young children died and eight others were sent to the hospital with varying degree of injuries.
Ross Dunagan, owner of Flyin’ Diesel Performance, the organization that put on the drag racing event, released a video on Facebook on Saturday after the crash occurred.
“There has been an accident. We are taking care of it. The race is shut down and we ask that you please pray for everybody involved,” Dunagan said.
KENS 5 attempted to reach out to Dunagan on Monday, but did not hear back.
Vincent noted proving degrees of negligence would be a central part of litigation involving survivors and families of the deceased children.
“The actions with regard to the adults will be more complex because Texas has what is called a proportionate responsibility system where you compare the conduct of the plaintiff with the conduct of the potential defendants.”
Johnson noted spectators would be treated as business invitees under the law since $20 fees were required, according to the event flyer.
“They’re entitled to a very high degree of care to protect them from harm,” Johnson said.
Since the Kerrville-Kerr County Airport is a city-county entity, Johnson said lawsuits may be more difficult to execute.
Viewer-provided photos show metal gates and water-filled barriers along the race track, but the extent of providing a safe environment for spectators is bound to be emphasized during the police investigation and any future legal matters.
“If this drag racing is treated as a type of sport, that may be important to how the litigation plays out.”
Kerrville police is asking for the community to provide pictures and video of the drag racing incident. KPD can be reached at (830) 257-8181.