Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- It’s something they say they’ll never forget, but it’s not the racing, but the wrecking of race cars in Daytona this weekend that’s sticking with two local NASCAR fans.
Just sitting watching the race on Saturday they quickly used their EMS training to help some fans who were badly hurt at the track when pieces of an airborne stock car ripped through the fence and into the stands.
Tony McIntyre and Smokey Horton were part of the crowd in seats near the start/finish line. Unbeknownst to them and everyone else in that section, it put them right in harm’s way. The car of Kyle Larson went airborne and crashed into the grandstand fence during a multi-car wreck on the last lap of the NASCAR race Saturday.
“I saw this piece of metal. It was a big piece of metal, about a foot by three feet. It’s going to the right of me, so I jump up immediately because I know that’s going to hit somebody,” Horton said.
"We had to duck, we ducked out of the way. Once we looked at each other Smokey took off up top and I went with Chuck Schaefer to the guy in front of us,” McIntyre continued.
McIntyre and Horton are both volunteer firefighters with EMS training. They sprang into action and each helped a fan with bad cuts and heavy bleeding.
“We looked around and we were it. For a period of time we were the first responders just because of our location,” McIntyre said.
“It happened so fast that we got all said and done, I said whose car was it because that was the guy we were rooting for,” Horton said.
Now they’re rooting for the fans they helped to recover.
“In the end I think we made a difference,” McIntyre said.
Both men say they really want to find out the conditions of the two men they helped, but haven’t been able to. One they only know by first name and the other by where he lives.