Fatality - May 1926
Bert S. Shoup - Spectator
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
INDY 500 MEMORIAL - 1923
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During the 1923 Indy 500, driver Tom Alley crashed
through the outer fence where some teenage boys
were watching the race through some knot-holes.

Alley, 33, from Indianapolis, was driving the No. 29
Miller car entered by Durant.  He was filling in for
Earl Cooper.  On lap 22, Alley went high in
an endeavor to pass two cars which were running
neck and neck with him.  As he neared the back-
stretch, his throttle stuck and the car spun and
crashed through the fence where a group of eight
Lafayette boys were.  

Alley was thrown clear of the accident and received
a broken arm and several cuts to the head.

Harold Shoup, 16, was in the direct path of the car
and received the full force of the impact.  He was
carried to the infield hospital and it was determined
he had a compound fracture of the skull at the base
of the brain.  He was rushed to Methodist Hospital
where he was operated on.  They were unable to
save him and he died at 7:30 without regaining
consciousness.  His parents had learned of the
situation and had rushed from Lafayette to Indiana-
polis and were at his side when he died.  He was
survived by four sisters.

Four other boys were injured.

Charles Elliott, 14,  and  William H. Goetz, Jr.,
16, were severely cut about the head and body and
had many bruises.  They too were taken to Methodist
Hospital where it was reported their conditions were
not serious.

Fay Layton, 17 and Harold Gritten, 15, were not
as badly injured.  Gritten was sitting with his back to
the fence.  He was knocked 30 feet across the road
into a cornfield.  

Layton was standing near Gritten and was knocked
to the ground.  The car passed over his right leg
badly bruising it and he received cuts to the head.  

Both boys were badly frightened and took off for
home without seeking medical help.

The other boys in the group were
Murwood Ward,
Fay Fryer, 13 and Edwin Robinson, 15.  They
were not injured.

Fryer returned home the same day - on Wednesday
(Memorial Day.)

Ward returned home on Thursday, having hitched a
ride with a party of tourists who were traveling to

Robinson was reported missing and a search began
by the Indianapolis police department.  He showed
up at home Friday evening. He had stole a ride on a
freight train after the race and was put off the train
at Thorntown.
Edward Robinson and Bert Shoup (on right)
Tom Alley was not only a race car driver,
but a mechanic too.  

His racing career began in 1912 when the
famous driver,
Ralph DePalma, hired him
to be his riding mechanic.  They won the
Vanderbilt Cup together.

Alley participated in the Indy 500 through
out the 1910s, sometimes as a relief driver.  

After failing to qualify for the Indy 500 in
1925, he retired from racing.
Ralph DePalma & Tom Alley
Chart is from a 1923 newspaper.
Tom Alley
The boys with the exception of Goetz, left Lafayette
Tuesday morning with the intention of seeing the
race.  They went to Indianapolis on a freight train
and spent the evening at Riverside Park.  About
midnight, they went to the Speedway, hoping that
an opportunity would present itself for them to get
in.  They were unsuccessful and after loitering about
the main entrance for a while, went to the east fence.  
They met Goetz at the main entrance and he joined
them.  When the boys were unsuccessful in getting
into the grounds they took turns at viewing the race
through the knot holes
in the fence.
How It Began
In July, Elliott's parents filed a $25,000 lawsuit for
negligence against the Speedway and the Durant
Motor Car company, saying his son was permanent-
ly injured.

In September, Shoup's father file
d suit against the
Speedway and the Durant Motor Car company for
$10,000.  The plaintiff stated that while admission
to the point where his son was killed was free,
people had been invited there by the management.
Consequent Law Suits
The Driver