Mechanic injured in pit lane crash

An accident on pit lane during Sunday's IRL IndyCar Series race at Gateway International Speedway left one crew member in a local hospital. It also left one IRL driver distraught

Mechanic injured in pit lane crash

Bryan Herta was quickly ushered to his trailer by Andretti Green Racing officials after his car struck Al Unser Jr.'s car in the pits and injured Unser's left-rear tyre changer, Anton Julian. Herta, whose car was struck by another and sent into the back of Unser's, was visibly shaken after the incident.

"He never saw anything like it," team co-owner Michael Andretti said. "He didn't know what had happened. He thought he'd killed him. It was just terrible. He was really shaken up and felt bad, but he had nowhere to go. It was nobody's fault. It was just bad luck on everybody's part."

The pit lane at Gateway often has been criticised for a poor, narrow design that creates dangerous conditions for crew members. However, Andretti said he didn't want to place blame for the accident.

"When you have less room and everybody coming in at the same time, it makes it harder," Andretti said. "The chances for something like this to happen are somewhat greater. The track is safe. I don't want to blame in anybody. I don't want to blame the track or blame anybody who was involved. It was just circumstances."

Julian was taken by air ambulance to Saint Louis University Hospital, where his condition was upgraded from serious to fair condition late Sunday. IRL officials said Julian sustained a concussion and a knee injury and would be held overnight before being transferred to an Indianapolis hospital for further treatment.

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