Ashley Judd and Dario Franchitti shocked fans in January when they announced that they had separated after 10 years of marriage, but the two apparently remain close enough that Judd rushed to Franchitti’s side on Sunday when he was involved in a horrific crash at the Shell-Penzoil Grand Prix of Houston.
Franchitti, 40, a four-time IndyCar series champion, was seriously injured, along with 14 fans in the crowd watching the race from the sidelines, when during Turn 5 he tapped the rear wheel of Takuma Sato’s car. The crash, captured in amateur videos and uploaded almost instantly onto YouTube, catapulted Franchitti’s car up into a fence before it landed on the ground and sent debris flying into the stands.
According to USA Today Sports, Franchitti walked away from the wreckage with two fractured vertebrae, a broken right ankle, and a concussion. But on Monday, while he was awake and recovering from a surgery on his ankle, he had Judd beside him.
The 44-year-old actress, whose name was briefly tossed around earlier this year as a potential 2014 candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky, tweeted thank to supporters on Monday, in messages that made it sound like she and Franchitti were part of a united front.
“Thank you for the prayers for @dariofranchitti,” Judd tweeted on Sunday as she headed to the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, where Franchitti is still recovering. “I have only clothes on my back & the dogs but that's all that we need & we are on our way.”
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On Monday she told followers: “Amazed by the incredible outpouring of care & prayers. Thanks, everyone. Keeping our heads down here & doing what's in front of us to do.”
Judd also retweeted a message Franchitti wrote to fans on Monday.
Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes. They mean a lot to me.
â€” Dario Franchitti (@dariofranchitti) October 7, 2013
In a joint statement released to Us Weekly, IndyCar, promoters of the race and officials said the incident was under investigation
"Our thoughts remain with everyone affected by yesterday's accident," IndyCar wrote. "Thank you to the people of Houston for their support of the Grand Prix and their concern for Dario Franchitti, the fans and race personnel. IndyCar is thoroughly reviewing the incident. Reducing the risks that are associated with racing is one of our highest priorities and receives our constant and ongoing focus."
The organization also announced on Monday that all of the injured spectators had been released from the hospital.