The Reno Air race crash on Friday afternoon was horrific, according to spectators. It has killed at least 3 people and injured over 50, with several in critical conditions, a local hospital told CNN Saturday morning.
The crash, however, could have been a lot worse.
At the Reno, Nevada event, 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward seemed to have lost control of his vintage P-51 Mustang plane and crashed it.
As partially seen in the videos below, the plane crashed into the ground and shattered into cloud of debris. There was no fire from the crash.
The plane crashed next to a VIP section and missed the grandstands, according to the Associated Press.
I think that pilot in the last seconds pulled up because he saw the bleachers and saved about 200 or 300 others. I don't mean this as a disrespect to others injured, but that pilot is a hero. He saved a lot of lives today. It could have been much worse, one spectator told CNN.
I closed my eyes and said I am going to die now. I was literally preparing to die and then he jerked the plane away and it landed like 25 feet from us. I want his family to know he was a hero, another told CNN.
Although the cause of the crash is unknown at this point, the event organizers suspect mechanical failure, reported AP.
The Reno Air Racing Association extends its most sincere heartfelt condolences and sympathies to all of those affected by yesterday's tragic events. We have always considered the pilots, performers, sponsors, vendors, volunteers, staff and, most importantly, our fans to be one family. We are working and will continue to work to do whatever we can to console and help our family, the association said in a statement.