An event meant to honor those who gave blood turned tragic Saturday when a man died while riding around Texas Motor Speedway in a car, event organizers said.
Carter BloodCare said they offer rewards for their members who donate blood six or more times in a year. Those rewards include driving around Texas Motor Speedway with drivers at the Texas Driving Experience, seeing what it's like to be a standup comic in front of a room full of people and tickets to a Rangers Game.
Fred "Don" Krusemark, like many others, chose the Texas Driving Experience reward, a Carter BloodCare spokesperson said.
The 87-year-old was a passenger traveling around Texas Motor Speedway Saturday when the vehicle he was in somehow lost control and hit a wall, the Fort Worth Police Department said. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office said over the phone Monday Krusemark was the driver of that car. Carter BloodCare said he, and all the other participants Saturday, were all passengers.
It is not clear what exactly played a factor in the crash.
"We are not investigating since it was an agreement between the citizen and the track in which the citizen waived liability," Fort Worth Police spokesman Paul Henderson said Monday.
Carter BloodCare could not comment on what caused the crash, saying there were conflicting reports from people at the event.
"We want people to understand what a tragedy it is for us and how sorry we are for the family," Carter BloodCare said Tuesday. "He was a valued participant of Carter BloodCare and gave of himself often. This was a tragic situation."
A spokesperson with Texas Motor Speedway said a company called the Texas Driving Experience rented out the track Saturday and referred all questions to them.
A person who answered the phone at the Texas Driving Experience said the company had no comment. He declined to identify himself.
The Texas Driving Experience website says the company provides "safe, educational, fun programs" for individuals and corporate groups.
The website lists events that include allowing participants to "don a racing suit and helmet, get strapped into a racecar, and get private instruction from a professional racer while driving the 1-mile Infield Road Course at Texas Motor Speedway."
Participants can also participate in a "Pit Crew Challenge" to see how fast they can work as a team to change tires on a racecar using real pit crew power tools.
Carter BloodCare has not made a decision on if they'll discontinue this driving experience as a reward to its participants. The company said there is still interest from its donors to continue the program.
The Krusemark family declined to comment.