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Monster Truck Rallies: Unsafe for Kids!

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Two people have died in the last 10 days ... why are parents still taking their kids to these shows?

Monster Truck

Guest blogger Gina: A 41-year-old monster truck show promoter (and father of two) was killed Saturday night at one of his own monster truck shows in Wisconsin, a week after a 6-year-old boy died and a man was injured in a monster truck event in Washington.

On Friday, that same promoter had been touting the safety of his event: "This is our 16th year, and I wish I had a big piece of wood to knock on right now, but we have not had an incident besides a gal slipping in the aisle at another location. That's been all."

He was the third person to be hurt or killed at a monster truck event in a one-week period.

On Jan. 16 at the Tacoma Dome, 6-year-old Sebastian Hizey of Puyallup died after he was struck in the head by a Frisbee-sized chunk of metal that tore off a truck doing doughnuts during the Monster Jam show.

Another man seated nearby also was seriously injured when he was hit by a chunk of flying debris from the same truck.

And they didn't even stop that show after the boy was killed. Can you imagine?

Kids should not be allowed into Monster Truck rallies. Period. They can't get into Rated R movies before age 17 ... why should they be allowed into a stadium full of big trucks and drunks, where they could get killed? A scary movie isn't going to kill them, yet we protect kids from that.

There's something wrong with the system!

But, if you ARE going to allow kids in (after all, what will the rednecks do with their kids on the weekends otherwise), there needs to be some more safety regulations in place.

1. There should be a glass barrier between the trucks and crowd ... just they have at hockey games. Isn't a flying piece of a car more dangerous than a hockey puck?

2. Children in the stands should be required to wear helmets. I know this sounds extreme, but a helmet could have saved little Sebastian's life. We make 'em wear them on bikes ... why not at Monster Truck rallies, too? They're WAY more dangerous!

3. Kids should not be allowed in the front sections, where the risk of getting struck is greater.

4. They need to have WAY MORE medics on staff. It reportedly took an agonizing 15 minutes to reach Sebastian.

If it was up to me, they would stop having these monster truck rallies altogether. They're NOT a safe or "family-friendly" environment. And what purpose does it serve to drive big trucks around until they break, anyway? I just don't get it.

Do you think monster truck rallies are safe for kids?



next: Crushes Then ... and Now!
109 comments so far | Post a comment now
Joe January 28, 2009, 8:45 AM

Relatively speaking, monster trucks are one of the safest spectator sports given that there have only been a handful of tragedies in its history. If you want to stop dangerous shows and sports, there are much bigger fish to fry. Also, you speak of rednecks yet you call it a monster truck rally? Really? Do your homework before you post!

Leon K of NH January 28, 2009, 9:30 AM

its obvious that who ever wrote this report is an uneducated moron with nothing better to do then try to feast of the unfortunate hardships of the young boy and mr. Eisnhardt. Gina, have you ever been to a monster truck show? who are you to say what is and isnt entertainment. i am a racer and a fan of all motorsports. The sport of monster truck RACING, not rally, MONSTER TRUCK RACING, is HUGE. any given weekend from january untill april you will find between 10 and 15 shows coast to coast friday, saturday and sundays. Thats in the range of 30-45 events each weekend. in the 30 year history of our sport we have had a grand total of 3 spectator deaths by monster trucks. Each time has resulted in stiffer saftey standards. the creation of the RII (Remote ignition interrupter) after a death in 92 in niagra falls NY the second death was a drivers best friend on the floor of a show kind of like what happend in madison, WI. you see reports of other accidents but most of them are not infact monster trucks. most of them are big trucks that dont qualify as a “monster truck”

by reading your rant, and thats all it is, international motorsports in a whole should be shut down. here is a history lesson for you. In 1955 a car crashed into a wall and flew into the stands at the 24 hours of LeMans. 84 people were killed in one crash. that race continued and the people were carted away. today the race is safer and the people are more protected then thoes days. in 1999 an indy car wrecked in Michigan, throwing the tire and suspention into the stands at 150MPH. 3 spectators were killed. the race went on. by you standards we shouldnt let anyone in to see races cause something might happen. you dont realise it but the chances of getting yourself KILLED driving to the store with your family to get some soda and lunch meats are FAR greater then getting HURT at a motorsport event. i invite ANYONE that wants to REALLY learn this sport to com visit Monster-Mayhem(dot)ORG its a forum all about monster trucks and the industry.

i also would like to say that the days of Monster trucks being a redneck thing are far gone. That is like saying only blacks listen to rap. thats like saying women dont work labor jobs, I am proud to be a COUNTRY BOY and i love anything with a motor that goes fast. that dont mean im a drunk. i would take my kids (if i had any) to a monster truck RACE (not a rally only the uneducated call these rallies) and i feel safe sitting in the first row. ill be sure to wave at you gina from my first row seat next time i go. looks for me :-)

a fellow mom and blogger January 28, 2009, 10:50 AM

I have never been to a show. I’ve watched them on tv, my son has a couple of the hot wheel trucks. I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about monster trucks. With that being said, I think this post is outrageous and ignorant. Yes 2 people in a week span were killed and 1 person seriously injured. I’m assuming that the officials in this sport are investigating as to what happened and how to prevent it. As previously said, what about Nascar? You mention hockey, but it wasn’t that long ago that a child was killed at a hockey game. Before talking about something you don’t know, perhaps you should do your research. This is why you will never see a post like this on my blog, because I won’t post ignorance. This is your opinion, however you should learn to base your opinion around facts.

Travis Sewilo January 28, 2009, 11:00 AM

Agreed with the above post. Listen (Gina), I don’t know who you think you are. Through this post all you show is ignorance nad stupidity. I work with the USHRA an track crew for them every year, let me tell you that these are the safest shows in all of motorsports. Before, during, and after the shows, every truck is vigorously inspected to ensure the safety of drivers, fans, and everyone alike. ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU we DO NOT want to hear from. Everyoen in the monster truck community is deeply saddened by the loss of George and devastated by the fact that a fan was killed, and we have no time for people like you who are so poorly educated about what your topic is that you just point fingers and jump to conclusions. So please do me favor, take your kids to a show, take them out of the bubble you put them, and I’ll gaurantee that even if you don’t like, your children will love it, and your childrens’ happiness is important to you, isn’t it Gina? So please do me a favor, e-mail me at sewiloracing@yahoo.com because I would love to hear what facts you have to back these “facts” up.

Sandy January 28, 2009, 11:43 AM

While you’re at it, don’t allow children to ride in cars! OMG, look at how many accidents/deaths happen on the highways! And, don’t let your kids play in the yard, I shudder to think how many accidents can happen there! Plus, don’t take them to NASCAR, baseball games, football games, hockey games, soccer games, etc, etc, etc, etc as Lord knows accidents happen there too. Keep them safely in those plastic bubbles where they will be safe - well, unless they suffocate on the plastic. Get real, lady. As a mother and grandmother myself, I want my children to lead healthy, happy lives and protect them from the real risks in life, not those “one in a million” things. Sometimes, you have to remember, God has a plan and you have to let him decide. Really, think about that.

John January 28, 2009, 12:01 PM

thats it no more nascar a car could possible fly up into the crowd, drag car could lose control and end up in the crowd, no more motor cross bike could end up in the crown, no more air shows plane could crash into the crowd, no more wrestling fat guy in spandex could fall into the crowd no more boxing see wrestling, no more dogs show a poodle could run into the crowd and bite a kid, give me a break as much as i feel sorry for the family of the 6 year it was a total fluke, whats the odds of it happeneing its like a foul ball hit in the crowd, there is a chance you could be hit, as for the promoter he happened to walk in front of the truck its not like the driver purposly drove it at him. so all “rednecks” and everyone else me included wont dont we just sit at home watch or grass grow and do nothing then people like this blogger will have nothing to complain about, would that make you happy GINA.
I am attending a show in my home town of London Ontario Canada in March and going to Vegas for Monster Jam world finals for the 3rd year with my 11 year old son. Not going to stop me, unless this becomes a weekly occurance

anonymous January 28, 2009, 12:06 PM

All i can say is, WOW. I’m getting so tired of reading things like this posted by people who aren’t even educated enough to make a single comment, let alone write a whole article. If you read any of the news articles about these events, there seems to be one word that people tend to overlook, and that word is “accident”. People can’t seem to grasp the fact that when something like this happens, it is NEVER intentional. I personally could tell you many things about this sport that you have never even heard of before, including many safety features on these trucks you would never even think of that are there to protect the driver, track officials and the crowd. Making kids wear helmets at monster truck events? Come on, seriously? Next time you get the urge to speak your extremely un-educated words to people, do a little research before-hand, you’ll find it’ll help alot! I’ve never read an article that made me as mad as this one did, so do us all a favor and remember this old saying: If you don’t know what you’re talking about, DON’T TALK ABOUT IT!!!

person January 28, 2009, 12:21 PM

After reading the article there are a few things wrong with it. You have safer going to a monster truck show then driving to it. There hasnt been a death in monster truck for about 15 years. I personally have been going to them for 15 years and have never seen anyone get hurt before. Monster truck promoters have very strick safety regulations have get checked before every show. If you feel kids need to wear helmets at events then they should have to where them 24/7 cause they have a better chance getting hit by a car. You should look at statistics from baseball, football, soccer, nascar, & etc see how many deaths there are. We need to all remember and respect the families involved in this accidents & Pray for them.

Anonymous January 28, 2009, 12:33 PM

I guess we shouldn’t let our children ride in automobiles either considering all the auto accidents every day, and we better not let them go to school or the bully might beat them up, better scratch Halloween trick or treating off the list too cuz somebody handed out poisoned candy one time. You are rediculous, and to stereotype all monster truck SHOW goers as rednecks is quite rediculous. Anyone who refers to it as a monster truck RALLY has no idea what they are talking about. Why don’t you take the time to do some research on the sport, it may surprise you.

Juan January 28, 2009, 12:50 PM

Wow lady you really picked the wrong crowd to mess with… . .

Racing Family Man January 28, 2009, 12:55 PM

Monster Trucks are the safety motorsport you can bring your kids too. They are also the friendliest towards your kids as well. Both these incidents are 2 or 10 total accidents in a 34 year history of the motorsports, and these are 2 out of 4 total deaths involved. George wasn’t touting about safety, he was trying to reassure his fans and audience that these shows are safe, unfortunately a small mistake cost him his life, and it is what it is, an accident, what the video neither George or the driver knew it was coming until it happened.

If we are going to worry about how safe everything is for our children, then our kids would be living in bubbles that they couldnt escape from. Grow some strength and start realising that death is a part of life and your going to have to tell your children. Its like the birds and the bees when they first walk in on intimacy, tell them in the way they can understand. Don’t hide things, because the kid grows up in fear.

Mom and Pop January 28, 2009, 1:25 PM

A helmets. Thats a little too extreme. Did we make kids wear helmets at hockey games after that young girl got struck by a loose puck, I don’t think so. And what about that home run or foul ball that nobody catches, could strike a kid. Sorry to say but your overthinking the situation. Monster Trucks have had in a 35 year history only a total of 11 incidents, and only 4 were fatal(thats including the recent 2). Get some more facts and research what your talking about before you try and talk about it. Monster Trucks are the most family friendly enviroment and sport for that matter. Where else does the driver williningly sign autographs and take photos with you, and stand there and talk to you? You don’t get that at Nascar or Drag Races.

Jim Mace January 28, 2009, 1:43 PM

I am a monster truck owner and find this article to be completely off base and insulting. There has been some terrible tragedies as of late and the whole monster truck community is mourning these losses. But lets not forget that monster trucks are still a very safe form of family entertainment. In the past 30 years of Monster Trucks there has been less deaths than any other motorsport and even less than Football, Baseball, Soccer and Hockey. Get to know your facts. Oh, and Im not a Redneck. And if I was, whats wrong with that?

Patrice January 28, 2009, 2:24 PM

I have been taking my son to these shows since he is two years old. That was 22 yrs ago - he is now a Crew Chief for one of the monster trucks. It is a close knit family and very family oriented. Rednecks they are not - one of the drivers he worked for is a Penn State Graduate - most of the drivers are all college graduates and have put their heart and soul and tons of money into their trucks. Two deaths in over 20 yrs??? I am in a small town and we had more deaths from wrecks on our streets this week alone than that!!!

Jared Foggle January 28, 2009, 2:27 PM

The following have killed more children than monster trucks:
-Cars
-Swimming pools
-Bathtubs
-Falling out of bed
-Medications
-Household chemicals
-School buses
-Electric appliances
-Playing sports
-Falling on the playground
-Trees
-Lightning
-Flash floods
-Planes
-Vending machines
-Ceilings
-Bikes
-Baseballs
-Hockey pucks
-Plastic bags
-Windows
-Small toys
-Food
-Stairs
-Having fun as a kid

I anxiously await your blogs on how I can keep my kids away from all of the unsafe things above!

You Make Me Sick January 28, 2009, 2:48 PM

I think your the one that needs to wear a helmet. Quit worrying about safety and live a little.

Andrew January 28, 2009, 5:50 PM

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

There’s risk in everything we do outside…I’ve seen near career ending knee injuries happen in front of me on the basketball court…I saw my kid cousin fall from her horse…and another cousin get stung by a bunch of bees and hornets…my father tip his canoe over in a lake (I was already out, haha)…and I’ve been hit by a small, tiny rock or two kicked up from a dirt track auto race. You step outside your house to do anything, you are at risk for any number of things to happen.

The monster truck show fatalities were nothing more than tragic accidents that are so extremely rare. I attended 225 racing events (no monster trucks) in 15 states over the past four race seasons and I can recall only one fan being hit by anything from the track, and it was only a piece of clay from a dirt track. The worst people are physically subjected to typically is a little dust sometimes at dirt track facilities.

Sure there is no such thing as a completely “safe” race track, but for spectators the odds of anything happening to them are extremely small. Most people know the risk and accept it, but they’re not kept from enjoying things because the likelyhood of anything happening to them is so small.

Kids wearing helmets at a race track? If you made them do that, you’d have to make them do the same thing at a Major League Baseball game or an NHL hockey game where they’re just as likely to get hit by a line drive foulball or an errant slapshot off a hockey stick. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense does it?

The Infamous Frenchy January 28, 2009, 8:02 PM

lady, did you swallow the stuff under the sink before you posted this crap or did you just wait till after?

either way you have no idea who or what your messing with. the fact that you did no research before opening your mouth is insulting to yourself.

Scott January 28, 2009, 8:15 PM

1. There should be a glass barrier between the trucks and crowd … just they have at hockey games. Isn’t a flying piece of a car more dangerous than a hockey puck?

Answer. Yes but several hockey pucks fly into the stands at each game. In thousands of events this has never happened before.

2. Children in the stands should be required to wear helmets. I know this sounds extreme, but a helmet could have saved little Sebastian’s life. We make ‘em wear them on bikes … why not at Monster Truck rallies, too? They’re WAY more dangerous!

My kids do not wear them on bikes. I never did either. None of us have suffered brain damage. Buy your son one and take him to an event. Then maybe you will see how wrong this idea is.

3. Kids should not be allowed in the front sections, where the risk of getting struck is greater.

So when the trucks roll into the stands the adults can stop them? Your logic is amazing.

4. They need to have WAY MORE medics on staff. It reportedly took an agonizing 15 minutes to reach Sebastian.

What report said that? Had they been their instantly, sadly, he still would not have survived.

It appears to me that this author knows nothing of monster trucks and has no qualifications to be writing such an article.

I also question her fitness as a parent. There are several statements made that show a need for psychological treatment and as a therapist myself I urge Gina to seek some help. You do not seem fit to be a parent from the article. Please get help before you do something to harm your child.

the love mashein January 28, 2009, 8:18 PM

these trucks put out to much carbon imissions. they should all be shot down un till they can get better gas milage. this women is wright. monster truck ralys are dum. all the trucks to is jump on cars thet culd be used and made better. its not a fun thing to watch. the truck leke gasolene and oil all over the flore and the exost is dangorus to be around. you culde get sick. im scared to go to a monster truck raly


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