Racing resumes after driver’s death

0

DOVER, Del. (AP) – Harness racing resumed Tuesday night at Harrington Raceway, a day after a driver was killed in a pileup when his horse stumbled and fell.

Hal Belote, a 51-year-old driver from Williamstown, N.J., died Monday. Two other drivers, 19-year-old Brandon Givens of Seaford and 54-year-old Steve Warrington of Galena, Md., were injured. Both were listed in good condition Tuesday at Christiana Hospital in Newark, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Meanwhile, the Delaware Harness Racing Commission opened its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday meeting at the track with a moment of silence for Belote and his family. Racing commission administrator Hugh Gallagher said the accident prompted considerable discussion about response procedures at Delaware racetracks. Gallagher said the commission will review its safety procedures.

“It’s a little bit ahead of where we are, but I really think it’s time to look at our safety procedures,” he said.

“I just want to make sure we are taking every precaution we can to ensure the safety of the participants.”

Noting that the accident happened on the opposite side of track from the paddock area, Gallagher suggested that one issue to be studied is where emergency response units should be positioned. Gallagher said emergency responders at Harrington were at the scene of Monday’s track pileup in about 3 minutes.

“Obviously, life can be lost in a second,” he said.

Gallagher said agriculture secretary Michael Scuse, whose department oversees horse racing in Delaware, has directed that no videotape of the accident be released until an investigation is completed.

Gallagher said the race was going smoothly until Belote’s horse “knuckled over,” catching its hoof on the track. Belote and his horse, Atenothnbutdscootr, went down, causing Warrington and Givens to crash as well.

State Police have said they are investigating the incident as an industrial accident.



On the Net: http://www.harringtonraceway.com

AP-ES-05-16-06 1746EDT


Advertisement
SHARE