Driver arrested after crash at Anderson race track
Police say a race driver faces drunken driving and other charges after intentionally crashing into another car on a central Indiana track.
At any race track, you'll see crashes. Same is true at Anderson Speedway - that's racing.
But what happened with the driver of one car Saturday night is a "freak thing we have never seen," says track owner Rick Dawson.
Driver Tommy Lathan, 49, was arrested for drunk driving, recklessness and intimidation.
"He shouldn't have been out there," says race driver Trevin Hanson.
Hanson was watching when it happened Saturday night early in the featured race.
"The first couple laps, he wasn't going very fast. He kept spinning himself out every time he'd get around somebody. He'd stop," Hanson said.
That's dangerous on a tight-banked course, so "early on during the race, he was black flagged," Dawson said.
Lathan was told to leave the track and complied, but then, Dawson said, "just all of a sudden, floored it and came down right in the crossover and then nailed one of the other cars."
Neither driver was hurt.
"The individual that he hit had just been in a motorcycle and a car wreck the same week," Dawson said.
"It raises my concern," said Hanson. "Wondering if somebody else is not actually going to do it."
The track is now looking at new ways to better spot a driver who may be impaired.
"If you see something, see signs, obviously, we want to be in a position to take action," Dawson said.
"He's always been there to help somebody, no matter who they were," said Jane McMillan, a neighbor of the arrested driver. "I've never seen that guy even drink. He's got a good streak about him, that's why I couldn't believe this even happened."
Police are waiting for lab tests to learn Lathan's level of impairment.