NASCAR Fans Electrocuted Near Talladega Track

Two NASCAR fans died in a campground outside Talladega Superspeedway when a flagpole they were erecting touched power lines, electrocuting them.

Donny Lynn Wright, 42, of Remlap and Keith Alan Stell, 39, of Birmingham were killed around lunchtime Monday, said track spokeswoman Kristi King. Talladega County Coroner Jerry Castleberry pronounced both men dead at the scene.

The Aaron's 499 race will be run at the track on Sunday. Fans commonly use poles to fly flags touting their favorite driver.

Witnesses said Wright and Stell were attempting to anchor a flagpole when it was caught by wind and pushed into power lines running along a road outside the track.

"They were trying to pull the flagpole back off the lines," said James Snider of Bessemer, who was sitting about 30 yards away from the victims' camp site. "I heard a loud pop that sounded like a fire cracker, and I went running because the power lines fell. They were both lying on the ground, and two women were trying to get to them to get them away from the wires."

Frank Cardera and his wife, Ema June, were pulling into the campground when they saw the lines fall.

"It's a horrible thing," he said. "You come out here to enjoy yourself and then something like this happens — it's just horrible."

The track general manager, Rick Humphrey, said could not recall a similar accident.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to those families," Humphrey said. "It has put a damper on our week."