3 spectators struck, injured by flying truck part in ‘freak accident’ at Wasatch County demolition derby

This demoliton derby image is from a promotional video posted on the Wasatch County Fair Facebook page.

HEBER CITY, Utah, July 30, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Two women and a teenage boy watching a demolition derby in Heber City Saturday night were hospitalized after being struck by a driveline that one truck knocked off another, sending the metal part flying high into the stands.

Sonya Duke is in fair condition, as is Liam Duke, 14, according to information from the Heber Valley Hospital. The second woman’s condition was not known.

The demolition derby was held in conjunction with the Wasatch County Fair.

“The drive line came off the truck, and was approximately 3-feet long,” said Tom Bonner, director of Parks and Recreation for Wasatch County.

“It had some weigh to it, and they (the victims) were in the very top row out of 30 rows.”

The injured people were taken to the hospital by ambulance. The derby started again after two more ambulances arrived to stand by. It is standard procedure to have two ambulances standing by at demolition events, Bonner said, in case of driver injuries.

Bonner said he did not witness the accident.

“It was something the season derby contestants said they had never seen anything like before,” Bonner said. “We think this was a freak accident.”


  1. It may be a freak accident but the driveshaft had no safety loops! This was preventable!! What derby allows no driveshaft safety loops and or doesn’t check for them?!!! I’m required to have one in my car I race that’s not even that fast. I read one Derbys requirement of 3 on a demo rwd vehicle. I know for a fact there were no safety loops and have pics of the truck before and after it flew off. Safety really should be first but I don’t feel like it was in this case. My brother had to buy a several hundred dollar Kevlar transmission blanket for his clutch on a car he also races because things happen and if his clutch blew apart it could take off his legs coming through the car or hurt someone outside the car. These things are not unknown to us. We’ve been playing with cars for over a century and we know what parts will break and need to be upgraded for events like this. You can honestly buy a new drive shaft safety loop for less than thirty dollars. SMH.

  2. 40 plus derby in utah a year. Find a single set of rules that even mentions driveline loops.. always someone that has to point the finger

  3. A derby truck bends in so many different ways .what if u had loops an a truck would bend behind the cab the safety loop would act like a break on the driveshaft.iv had driveshafts come threw the floor b4 but how can u actually prevent it???

  4. It was a freak accident. You are always where you are suppose to be! There is a reason it happened. In 40 years it has never happened so think before blaming or over reacting. No need for expensive useless netting to protect the audience. My thoughts and prayers are with the injured people. Please don’t sue Heber and ruin tradition.

    • I like. That you asked them not to sue. To many people sue for everything. It was a freak ACCIDENT. Please don’t
      Sue and cause the place to close because of losing all thier money to law suits.

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