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Lightning Strike After Pennsylvania 400 Leaves One Dead, Nine Injured

One NASCAR fan is dead and one other remains in critical condition following a lightning strike in the parking lot outside the Pocono Raceway after the Pennsylvania 400. Eight other fans have less severe injuries.

Track president Brandon Igdalsky made the announcement of the fatality.

The fans apparently were heading to their vehicles after the race ended with 98 laps complete due to the storm. The track had put out a bulletin advising fans to seek shelter to wait out the severe weather, and most fans took refuge under the grandstands.

The massive strike occurred near the turn three grandstands. Two fans were critically hurt and taken to area hospitals. One was pronounced dead on arrival.

Reactions to the strike were abound on Twitter, many of which were compiled by SB Nation's NASCAR Editor Jeff Gluck.

Race winner Jeff Gordon said he was fairly certain which strike had caused the tragedy, saying that he was walking down pit road when a "huge, huge crack from lightning" sounded. He went on to say that the situation would take away from his victory.

Already questions are abound as to whether or not the situation could have been prevented. At 4:12 p.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the area, but the race continued for another half hour until rain finally reached the track. The Pocono Raceway Twitter account posted at 4:21 p.m. that severe lightning was in the area.

My prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the fan who passed away and the rest of those injured.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.