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North Carolina woman recalls drag racer crash that left her with serious injuries

A woman has recalled the terrifying moment a drag racer smashes through the guardrail and into her during a race in North Carolina.

Amber Garner, 22, was left with a crushed knuckle, an open wound and an arm broken in four places following the crash.   

She was immediately taken to the hospital where she is expected to undergo multiple surgeries.  

Garner recalled the moment of the crash in an interview with Fox 8 from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

She said: ‘There were two cars that were racing and I guess one of them lost control. It hit the guardrail where I was at and went over it and hit me on the side of my arm.

‘As soon as it did hit me, I guess I fell on the ground. I blacked out so I don’t know exactly. I thought that it [my arm] was gone.’  

Amber Garner (pictured), 22, was left with multiple injuries to her arm and hand after a drag racer climbed the guardrail, split in half, and smashes into spectators in Wilkesboro, North Carolina

As of Saturday, local media reported Garner would need at least two operations to repair damage caused by the crash. 

‘Definitely not as bad as it could have been. A lot of people were saying that they don’t even think I’d have made it if it had went differently,’ Garner told Fox 8. 

She added that she doesn’t think she’ll be back at the races any time soon but added: ‘If I do [go], I definitely won’t be in the front line.’  

The accident happened while Garner was standing near a giant scoreboard at the start of the drag-way. 

In the terrifying footage, a purple Ford Mustang driven by Sammy Tompkins is seen lining up to race against Billy Hoskinson during eliminations at the 828 Cash Days event. 

The Mustang’s opponent speeds into the lead. Then the Mustang driver appears to lose control, turning jerkily to the left before climbing the guardrail and smashing the back half of the car into the metal pole of a scoreboard.   

One stunned onlooker is heard shouting: ‘No way’ in the footage as the car is split into several pieces by the pole. 

The Mustang driver then appears to lose control, turning jerkily to the left before climbing the guardrail and smashing the back half of the car into the metal pole of a scoreboard

The Mustang driver then appears to lose control, turning jerkily to the left before climbing the guardrail and smashing the back half of the car into the metal pole of a scoreboard 

The impact was so violent it ripped the rear half of the Mustang off and sent the front half of the car skidding down the track on its roof

 The impact was so violent it ripped the rear half of the Mustang off and sent the front half of the car skidding down the track on its roof

The impact was so violent it ripped the rear half of the Mustang off and sent the front half of the car skidding down the track on its roof.

Bright orange sparks fly from the wreckage as it slides down the track and finally comes to a halt tens of metres from the site of the crash.   

Tompkins, the driver of the vehicle reportedly suffered no injuries and managed to get out of the Mustang carcass without help.

He also refused treatment from onsite paramedics, the Sun reported. 

As the wreckage emits bright orange sparks as it slides down the track and finally comes to a halt tens of metres from the site of the crash. Tompkins, the driver of the vehicle reportedly suffered no injuries and managed to get out of the Mustang carcass without help

As the wreckage emits bright orange sparks as it slides down the track and finally comes to a halt tens of metres from the site of the crash. Tompkins, the driver of the vehicle reportedly suffered no injuries and managed to get out of the Mustang carcass without help

Witness Mykia Woods, who captured footage of the crash, told the MailOnline ‘Seeing the crash was definitely a scary moment. I’ve been going to the drag strip for years and have never seen anything like it in person.

‘I just pray the driver and the spectator that was injured are okay.’    

Garner’s sister, Ashley, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to fund the surgeries and therapy she is expected to need. 

At the time of publication, the page had raised $9,000 (£6,560) of the $100,000 (£72,850) target.

Pleading for donations, Ashley wrote: ‘My family needs help raising money to help my sister.

‘We were at a drag race at Wilkesboro and a car lost control and struck her. She will need multiple surgeries and physical therapy.’ 

Several donors expressed the sympathy over the accident. 

Wes Snow wrote:  ‘So sorry this happened to you. I hope and pray you recover in no time. 

‘Racers are good people, we help each other, I just hope this becomes a lesson on how dangerous it is to stand close to the finish line and others learn from it and don’t have to go through what you are going through or worse’.

Snow also said he hoped event organisers would do more to keep spectators a safe distance from the track. 

Garner's sister, Ashley, has set up a G oFundMe page to raise money to fund the multiple surgeries and physical therapy she is expected to need. At the time of publication, the page had raised $9,000 (£6,560) raised of the $100,000 (£72,850) target

Garner’s sister, Ashley, has set up a G oFundMe page to raise money to fund the multiple surgeries and physical therapy she is expected to need. At the time of publication, the page had raised $9,000 (£6,560) raised of the $100,000 (£72,850) target

However, a statement from the owner of Wilkesboro Dragway, Phil Halbedel, deflected blame for the accident. 

He said Garner ‘should not have been standing’ near the scoreboard and that the Mustang was a ‘poorly-made car’, the Journal-Patriot reported. 

Woods termed the incident ‘a freak accident’ but said the dragway ‘was packed out so fans were standing in any possible spot they could find.

‘If anything, I think the organisers could have told fans that they shouldn’t have been standing so close to the guardrail because it was dangerous.’

A statement from dragway confirmed the accident on Saturday and asked readers to ‘please say a prayer for the racer and for the lady that is injured’.

It said the organisation ‘will need to call off test and tune for tomorrow’ and that the track has ‘some sensor issues and guard rail damage.’  

Donor Wes Snow also said he hoped event organisers would do more to keep spectators a safe distance from the track

Donor Wes Snow also said he hoped event organisers would do more to keep spectators a safe distance from the track

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk