GRAND LAKE — An SUV driver suffering a seizure crashed through the fence of the Rocky Hi Speedway go-cart track on Sunday.
Jonathan Krape, 36, of Parker, was traveling with two grade-school-aged boys when he passed out due to a seizure while driving the car. His foot still on the accelerator, Krape veered off the road on his way to downtown Grand Lake and sped across a field about 200 yards until crashing through a large privacy fence of the Rocky Hi Speedway. “When he hit the concrete on the go-cart track, he was still accelerating,” said Rocky Hi owner David Raffaelli, who witnessed the accident. The vehicle then hit the side rail of the speedway built of rubber tires, which stopped the vehicle from speeding, according to Raffaelli. The vehicle then crashed into the fence at the end of the speedway while still high-centered on the side rail, with one wheel still spinning on the track. The friction caused smoke that could be seen from miles outside of Grand Lake.
The boys were not injured in the accident. Krape ultimately was airlifted to be transported to a Denver hospital. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office had not been updated as of Tuesday on the man’s condition. The office reported Krape was not injured by the accident, but was given medical attention for the seizure.
The speedway was 10 minutes away from opening for the day with customers waiting in the parking lot, Raffaelli said. And, “the normal opening routine of the track attendant is putting flags out on the fence, but he broke his routine that morning,” Raffaelli said.
Raffaelli ran to the car, immediately opening the passenger door then turning off the ignition. The boys had already unbuckled their seatbelts sometime after the seizure to try and pry Krape’s foot off of the accelerator, but were not successful, according to Raffaelli.
“They were extremely upset,” Rafaelli said.
Rafaelli called 911; in the meantime someone contacted Grand Lake Fire across the street, which was first to the scene.
The accident caused about $2,000-$3,000 of damage to Raffaelli’s property. “That’s repairable,” the go-cart track owner said. “God forbid if carts had been going around those tracks.”
“The possibilities are scary,” he continued. “It could have happened when we were open. And if he had been two sections of fence to the right, he would have hit a hill on the inside of the track and it would have flipped him or sent him airborne.” Or, the entire accident could have happened farther down the road in Grand Lake, where more people were out on sidewalks, Raffaeilli said.
“It’s amazing. We count our blessings when we think what could have happened.”