NEWS

Targa driver accused of hitting spectator

09/16/2011 06:45 EDT | Updated 01/12/2012 01:36 EST

A driver in the Targa car rally in Newfoundland is being accused of hitting a 67-year old spectator in Fortune, and then continuing in the race.

The racers from Ontario were in a 2002 Subaru when they lost control and crashed on property where spectators were watching the race.

Witnesses say the car struck a shed and hit a woman in a lawn chair.

Targa spokesman Doug Mepham says the rally participants did not know someone was hit.

"The team was completely unaware that there'd been an injury to a spectator until they were told later. They were shattered, and they've withdrawn from the event. Right now, our key concern is the victim, their well-being, and the well-being of their family," he said Friday.

The 67-year-old woman suffered a broken leg and pelvis, as well as cuts to her face.

Mepham said it's the first time a spectator has been hurt in the ten-year history of the event.

Gena Billard of Fortune said Thursday she witnessed the crash earlier in the afternoon as the cars in the annual event were racing through town.

"We were all watching the Targa races, and the car came down the hill, lost control, smacked into a shed and fishtailed and hit a lady in a lawn chair," said Billard.

Billard said people couldn't believe it when the driver continued racing without checking on the woman's condition.

The woman, 67, was taken to hospital. Billard believes she suffered some broken bones.

Mepham said the driver was aware he hit a shed, but Targa rules say he doesn't have to stop after an accident.

He said the driver would have stopped if he had known a person was injured.

Thursday in an unrelated incident, a Ferrari participating in the rally ended up in Mortier Bay.

There were no injuries in that incident.

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