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Sunday, Aug 11 2013 08:43 AM

Bakersfield Speedway official dies

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    By Tom Macht

    Bakersfield Speedway, on a busy Saturday night in 2012

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A track official at Bakersfield Speedway died Saturday night after being hit by a car involved in an on-track crash.

Steven O'Neil, 54, died late Saturday night at the Kern Medical Center emergency room, according to a news release from the Kern County Coroner's office.

O'Neil was standing along the inside crash wall along the backstretch when a car driven by Mike Hill Jr., got turned sideways far behind the leaders, then crashed into the wall with the left-side tires riding up and over. The car hit O'Neil, who was standing next the the front of a tow truck and knocked him back.

O'Neil landed on the ground several feet behind the tow truck and Hill's car came to a halt atop the wall another 40 feet down the track.

The track safety crew, as well as ambulance workers, rushed to O'Neil's aid immediately and worked on him for more than 10 minutes before he was placed on a backboard.

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