FABENS, Texas (KTSM)– El Paso County Commissioner Iliana Holguin says it’s unclear how many mud-track events happen a year but typically they fall outside of county regulation because they are on private property.
Holguin represents the part of the county where a deadly race crash happened in Fabens. As KTSM reported, 21-year-old Willy Valadez Ramirez died after a mud-track car lost control and drove into a group of spectators on Sunday. Seven other people were hospitalized with injuries.
Police say nine other individuals were injured during the incident. Two were released at the scene refusing medical treatment for minor injuries. Four are still at local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
Two were released from emergency medical centers with minor injuries.
KTSM asked Holguin what could be done to make mud-track racing safer after a tragic collision on Sunday night where one person died and 7 people were injured.
She said there is not much the county can do because these events are done at private properties and the county doesn’t have the authority to regulate.
El Paso County Emergency Service District #2 Fire Chief Roger Esparza says mud-track events only require permits when bleachers and food are sold during the vent.
“In the fire code, there are only limits to if there are bleachers how can they exit safely if they are selling food if there is fire how can they regulate, now to the unfortunate thing that happened, we don’t regulate that,” Esparza said.
He says these events are dangerous because they are only regulated the private citizens organiznig them and this isnt the first time where injuries and death were the result.
“This is the third time this type of event happens with a third fatality,” Esparza said. “This is the same from what I understand, from the same organizers, different people. It happened the Tequilas location in Tornillo, I believe a lady was killed there in the same method, the second one was the organizer of the event who passed away by away by Cattlemans.”
Valadez-Ramierez’s family told KTSM they hope there can be more awareness on the need for increased safety measures, which only had a thin guardrail between race cars and spectators.
“I think if there was more coverage for the fans or people that were around there, these types of incidents wouldn’t occur,” Mary Valadez, a cousin, said.
Family organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to help with expenses.