IndyCar driver Franchitti released from hospital

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by KHOU.com staff and The Associated Press

khou.com

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 10:52 AM

HOUSTON – Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti was released from Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Thursday after being treated for the injuries he sustained in an accident during the final lap of the Gran Prix of Houston on Sunday.

According to IndyCar officials, Franchitti will be heading to Indianapolis where he will be reevaluated over the next few days and to have a second surgery to his right ankle.

“I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and I’m thankful to have such a great family and such wonderful friends and fans. Thanks to everyone at the hospital and the track who took such good care of me during my stay in Houston. I look forward to watching Scott, Alex and the Target team next weekend on television, and will be pulling for them as they go for another championship,” Franchitti said in a released statement.

Franchitti also fractured two vertebrae in his spine and received a concussion. He had surgery on the ankle Sunday night and remained in the hospital afterward.

Thirteen fans and an IndyCar official were injured by debris that flew into the grandstand.

The accident occurred when Franchitti ran into the back of Takuma Sato’s car and launched over it and into the fence. Sato appeared to have a problem with his car and was limping toward the finish when Franchitti came up quickly behind him in Turn 5.

The force of the crash tore apart a section of the fence and showered debris into the grandstand, which had a second fence in front of the fans. Franchitti’s car ricocheted back onto the track and spun several times before coming to a stop. E.J. Viso hit Sato’s car as he came upon the accident scene, and the three wrecked cars and broken parts and pieces clogged the race course.

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