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Volunteer dies after suffering serious injuries during crash at Des Moines speedway

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A volunteer died after suffering serious injuries when a hobby stock car crashed at the Iowa State Fair Speedway.

Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Ben Lampe said the volunteer spotter, Richard Welch, was behind cement blocks along the track at the Des Moines fairgrounds when a car lost control and crashed, according to the Des Moines Register.

The car had tumbled down the backstretch Friday evening, May 23, 2014, causing its rear bumper to come off and fly across the cement barricades, according to the report. The bumper ended up striking Welch who was in the infield.

Early reports indicate that Welch suffered serious injuries but he did have a pulse when he was taken to the hospital. The situation was considered “highly critical.”

The Des Moines Register reported that Welch was very passionate about his position at the speedway and had volunteered as a spotter for years. He even referred to himself as “the Turn 3 guy,” according to veteran driver Tony Moro.

The incident is believed to be the first fatal accident at the fairgrounds racetrack since August of 2004, when a driving was killed in a crash, according to the report.