JMMC probes drag crash
Spectators assist those injured at Vernamfield in Clarendon on Sunday after a driver slammed into the crowd.

THE Jamaica Millennium Motoring Club (JMMC) said it could not comment on the fatal crash at Drag Rivals held at Vernamfield, Clarendon, on Sunday, July 17, as it was still in the process of collecting and reviewing information.

"Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to comment on matters related to an ongoing investigation. However, the JMMC will publish releases as the investigation progresses," Stephen Gunter, chairman of the JMMC, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine on Thursday afternoon.

The JMMC is the body responsible for motorsports on the island.

In a press release, the JMMC offered their condolence to the affected and explained that they are initiating the investigation with regards to the elements of safety for competitors and patrons for future events at non-purpose built facilities such as Vernamfield.

Kenneth Timoll

"The aim is to work with event organisers to out more safeguards in place to mitigate the risks of having similar occurrence in the future," the release said.

It also pointed out that motorsports is inherently dangerous.

Kenneth Timoll, director of KenT Racing — organisers of last Sunday's Drag Rivals meet, said in a release that his team took all the necessary mandatory precautions sanctioned by the JMMC, securing all the relevant permits, having ambulances, fire marshalls on site, as well as adequate security personnel to monitor and enforce their safety protocols around the integral barriers and caution signage at the venue.

"This is a matter that is being investigated by the relevant authorities and our legal team has been duly notified. We, therefore, request the public's patience and understanding while we address the unforeseeable incident," said Timoll in the release.

On Sunday, July 17, four spectators were injured when a competitor at the Drag Rivals veered off the race strip and into the crowd. One of the four later succumbed to their injuries.

Vernamfield is a former World War II United States Army Air Forces airfield located in Clarendon. The airfield was renamed Vernam Air Force Base by the newly formed United States Air Force in 1948, but was closed in 1949.

BY RORY DALEY Observer writer daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

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