by GEOFF FOX
Two wrecks marred a street-racing event at the Potomac Airfield in Hancock, WV, this past weekend. One wreck left a man seriously injured.
The two-day event drew around 1,000 people according to a social media post by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. The actual number was far less than what organizers expected.
Racing organizers with Late Model Performance and the “Street Outlaws Memphis” had told local police to expect anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 people for the weekend race.
Those who attended, according to social media posts, enjoyed the races and the experience of meeting the cast of “Street Outlaws Memphis,” a reality show on the Discovery Channel.
Racing was interrupted by two wrecks that sent two drivers to Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown.
The first crash occurred around 7 p.m. on Saturday night, August 25.
According to Hancock Deputy Chief Ben Hoopengardner, the car appeared to lose traction when it got into the grass and started to roll. The driver only suffered minor injuries, Hoopengardner said.
A video posted on social media showed the vehicle start to lose grip, swerve across the track and take out a stand before crossing back across the track and rolling.
The second accident happened about an hour and a half later around 8:30 p.m. when a similar accident occurred.
Hoopengardner said as he was watching, the vehicle pulled to the left and then started to roll down the track.
Another video on social media showed this wreck as well. In the video, a yellow car starts fishtailing and as the driver tries to correct the car, it starts tumbling down the track. A number of bystanders start rushing toward the vehicle when it stopped.
The driver, which is identified as “Hillbilly Hustler” in the video post, suffered a broken arm and had to be cut from the car, Hoopengardner said.
A person claiming to be the driver’s son posted on the Memphis Street Outlaws JJdaBoss social media page that “Hillbilly Hustler” was stable and had surgery to repair nerves and bones in the arm and suffered a bruised lung.
Hoopengardner said the two accidents were the only incidents that happened during the event.
Police on both sides of the river did not report any trouble. However, there were numerous noise complaints received by public officials.
According to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, there were five complaints received on Thursday, August 23, and again on Saturday, August 25. The Sheriff’s Office said there was no violation of the laws, so no action was taken.
Morgan County has an Excessive Noise ordinance that is in effect between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., but the rules specifically exempt noise from licensed motor vehicles.
Hancock Police Chief Rich Miller said his department also received a number of noise complaints over the weekend in regards to the drag racing event.
During the event, there were no reports of any traffic tie-ups on the Hancock bridge or any other issues.
Miller said his officers remained in Hancock and there were more patrols in the Hancock area, however they had no problems to report from the event, describing the weekend as “business as usual” in Hancock.
“Our hats are off” to the Morgan County and West Virginia authorities for the way they handled the event, Miller said.
The event was being taped for a later broadcast of the show “Street Outlaws: Memphis” on the Discovery Channel. The show is a spinoff of “Street Outlaws OKC.”
According to the Discovery Channel website, “Street Outlaws: Memphis” spotlights JJ Da Boss and his team of family and friends who have been racing together for decades.