Indianapolis News photographer, J. Parke Randall, captured the scene when
tragedy struck during the pace lap of the 1960 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.
A privately owned makeshift scaffold collapsed, killing two people and injuring 82.
About 125 people, who had paid $5 to $10 for vantage spots on the scaffold,
tumbled to the ground. Upon hearing screams behind him, Randall turned away
from the track to see -- and shoot -- the wood-and-metal tower tumbling to the
ground under the weight of jostling spectators, spewing them out onto the infield
Henceforth, all scaffolding at the Speedway was banned.
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50 Hurt at Start of Race
Disaster Plan Put into Effect
Indianapolis, Ind --- UPI -- A homade
grandstand, jerrybuilt against a truck, tipped oer
under the weight of more than 100 screaming
fans at the Indianapolis Speedway auto race
yesterday. Two persons were killed and more
than 50 were hurt.
The 30-foot high stands, built of light metal pipe
and boards, began to tilt slowly forward when
fans leaped to their fee as the 33 cars in the
500-mile race were poised at the starting lines.
Spectators jumped and fell from the stands but
scores were trapped under a mass of timbers,
pipes and bodies when the structure crashed
down in one piece.
Among the injured was Wilbur Shortridge Jr.,
Indianpolis, an enterprising fan who had built the
stands and charged $5 a seat on thelower decks
and $10 in the upper section. He had been
sitting in the stands.
Witnesses said spectators in other stands ignored
the screaming, pleading victims under the fallen
structure while the race got under way, but some
finally helped carry the injured to the track's field
hospital, set up to care for drivers injured in the
The dead were Fred H. Linder, 23, Indianapolis,
and William C. Craig, Zionsville, Ind., both of
who died of broken necks.
The stands, the type that normally are butred
agianst the side of a building, were partially
mounted in the bed of the truck, which served as
the only support.
By late night, 22 persons still remained in
hospitals where they were transferred from the
track. Thwo persons were in serious condition
with bone fractures and head injuries.
The stands were set up in the infield of the
Speedway's northeast turn, long noted for freak
accidents during the annual Memorial Day classic.
Speedway officials said there was no rule against
building such bleachers and stands and their only
safety rule was that they "looked safe."
$100,000 Suit Against '500'
Indianapolis, Ind. (UPI) --- An Indianapolis woman has filed a
$100,000 damage suit stemming from the collapse of a home-made
grandstand at the Memorial day 500-mile auto race. The accident
killed 2 persons and injured 83, including 5 Iowans.
Mrs. Mayme Filks filed suit in Marion county (Indianapolis) superior
court against Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp. and Wilbur
Shortridge of Indianapolis.
Mrs. Folks charged in her suit that she was standing on the ground
near the infield fence about 20 feet in front of the scaffold and was
injured when it fell.
Mrs. Folkds' attorneys identified Shortridge as on eof the bilders of
the pipe and plank scaffold. He was injured and is still in critical
|Misc Photos of Scaffolds at the Speedway