TODAY   |  February 24, 2013

Witness: Daytona debris fell ‘like confetti at a party’

It was the final lap, and drivers were jockeying for position when a bump between cars turned terrifying. Spectator Kevin Meister had a birds-eye view of the terrible wreck that followed from his seat right about the crash site. He is interviewed by TODAY’s Lester Holt.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> kevin meister had a bird's eye view. what did you see?

>> all the action really started as soon as drivers came around turn four and the checkered flag started waving. and the racers jumped on the gas and right before they hit the checkered finish, everybody started getting loose and made a block and all of a sudden there was a huge crash right into the gate and there was a car completely vertical, and all of a sudden you saw fiberglass just everywhere like confetti as a party.

>> tell me what was going on in the stands? you went down to the ledge to shoot what was below you. what did you see in terms of the people in the impact area?

>> right. as soon as i ran down to the ledge to, you know, see what had happened, see what exactly was going on, people were, you know, panicking, and police and ushers were trying to escort people out of area so that the medical teams to get to injured folks. there were a lot of people around trying to comfort those who were clearly injured. and i even saw a man take off his shirt and wrap it around a couple -- you know, lacerations that another man had. i saw another guy passing out water. but you really saw human compassion right after that happened. people were kind of in a state of shell shock .

>> kevin, you are a big nascar fan, seen a lot of crashes. and we've seen the fences to protect the crowd from flying debris from crashes. how shocking to see it go above that fence and into the area where the crowd was?

>> right, you see the fence and you feel pretty safe as a spectator, but until something like that actually happens and, you know, the engine actually broke through the fence. that was surreal, to think that something like that actually had a possibility of happening and did yesterday, i mean, was just devastati devastating.

>> you will attend the race today with no reservations?

>> no reservations at all. i'm an avid nascar fan. and thankfully we were out of the debris zone, but 15 feet in front of me, sort of right down below, it looked like a shock absorber , a metal rod of some type, came all the way up into my section in the upper deck .

>> very frightening fi ining pictures. thank you for spending time