Derby driver badly burned in crash - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

Derby driver badly burned in crash


NORTHWOOD, IOWA (KTTC-DT)-- A Blue Earth man is in intensive care at an Iowa City hospital after being severely burned in a demolition derby accident Sunday night. The crash happened at the Worth County Fair in Iowa.

"You don't ever want to see it, but that risk is there," says Paul Nielsen of 'Masters of Disasters' the company in charge of the disaster.

26-year-old Matt Ertman was driving in the fairs annual demolition derby, when the engine of his car suddenly caught fire after a head-on collision.

"I was on the radio yelling for the fire department," Nielsen says.

The volunteer fire department was stationed right along side the fence of the derby track, it took them just 30 second to get to Ertman's burning car.

"The last I heard he was in intensive care in Iowa City, so he go burnt pretty bad," Nielsen notes.

Ertman's brother managed to run out onto the track to pull Matt from the flames that were coming out from underneath the steering wheel.

"There's no way we could've prevented it but there's some other safety measures we could look at," he adds.

After Sunday's incident, Nielsen is looking at possibly requiring all drivers to wear fire-proof suites, hoping to prevent another tragedy like the one that happened on Sunday night.

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