EMT killed, 7 injured in Mont. demolition derby crash

One driver was unable to stop and his car went through the fence, injuring several people and killing a female EMT

Duty Death: DaryLynne Day - [Deer Lodge, Montana]

End of Service: 08/19/2019

By EMS1 Staff

DEER LODGE, Mont. — An EMT was killed and at least seven other people were injured after a car drove through a chain-link fence and into the stands.

DaryLynne Day, a Powell County Ambulance EMT was killed when the incident occurred, Montana Right Now reported. The agency posted a statement on social media regarding the loss of Day.

“As we struggle to comprehend what happened last night and the tragic loss of one of our own, we wanted to take this time to thank you,” the post read. “Your watch is over, we will take it from here. RIP DaryLynne Day, EMT.”


As we struggle to comprehend what happened last night and the tragic loss of one of our own, we wanted to take this time...

Posted by Powell EMS on Monday, August 19, 2019

Day is survived by her husband and two children. Her coworkers started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family, and within 24 hours had raise nearly $4,000 of the $5,000 goal.

Original story: 

By Amy Beth Hanson
Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. — A woman was killed and at least seven others were injured when a car competing at a demolition derby in Montana drove over a chain-link fence into spectators, authorities said.

Powell County Sheriff Gavin Roselles, who witnessed Sunday's crash and aided the injured, said a woman in her 30s died at the hospital in Deer Lodge. Her name was not released.

Demolition derbies have been a staple at American racetracks and county fairs since at least World War II — and remain popular to this day. They usually involve any number of generally old clunker cars repeatedly bashing into each other until all but a last vehicle remains running.

Several cars were still competing at the Tri-County Fair when one car collided with another. The driver "came out of the turn he was unable to control the vehicle in any way," Roselles said Monday. "He ended up going over the top of the fence."

"It was sad and scary," Victoria Lopez told The Associated Press via Facebook. She and other witnesses said there are usually logs all around the arena at the Powell County Fairgrounds, but this year there wasn't one in the spot where the cars entered the arena.

Lopez said one driver was unable to stop and his car "flew right through the fence where several people were at. They took off running, but not all made it."

Meagan Beckett, who has training as a nurse, told the AP she ran to help. She saw responders performing CPR on some victims. "One gentleman had a neck brace on," she said. "He seemed to be in a lot of pain."

Two people were treated and released, three remained hospitalized in stable condition Monday and one was flown to another hospital, Roselles said. He did not have that person's condition. A 1-year-old child was among the injured.

The driver was not among those taken to the hospital, Roselles said.

The Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department on Monday tweeted condolences over the death of a Powell County emergency medical technician at the demolition derby in Deer Lodge, which is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) southeast of Missoula.

Former promoter Tory Schutte of Genoa City, Wisconsin, estimated that about 5,000 derbies are held each year at county fairs nationwide. He said Monday he was aware of fewer than a handful of deaths and he's been involved since the 1970s.

"People get so excited about everything going on they just keep shifting toward the track," he said. "It's the opposite of what our instincts would be."

The derby was sponsored by the Powell County Chamber of Commerce. A person who answered the phone said the chamber did not have a comment because the crash was still being investigated.

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