SPEEDVEGAS responds to allegations track is 'inherently dangerou - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

SPEEDVEGAS responds to allegations track is 'inherently dangerous'

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For the first time, SPEEDVEGAS is giving a detailed response to criticisms about the racetrack's design and safety procedures. 

SPEEDVEGAS opened in 2016. The attraction allows guests to drive exotic cars at high speeds on a closed course. In Feb., Craig Sherwood, a tourist, and Gil Ben Kely, a driving instructor and SPEEDVEGAS employee, were killed in a fiery crash. The Lamborghini Aventador Sherwood was driving slammed into a concrete barrier and caught fire. 

In March, another instructor at the attraction, Francisco Durban, sued the company. Durban's attorney's claimed the company asked him to sign a release saying SPEEDVEGAS took every safety precaution possible. Durban's attorney said he disagreed with the statement, and refused to sign it. The lawsuit against the company details what Durban and two experts said were safety failures on the part of SPEEDVEGAS, including a dangerous track design, slow response times to emergencies, and poor maintenance of the cars.

On Tuesday, SPEEDVEGAS filed a 150 page response to the lawsuit, calling it absurd. The response includes affidavits, diagrams, maps and even a Carfax report for the Lamborghini involved in the crash. 

In the response, SPEEDVEGAS CEO Aaron Fessler said he brought in his own experts. In a sworn statement, one expert said "there is nothing inherently dangerous in either the program design or operating procedures; there are no operational changes that would have prevented this incident." 

In the lawsuit, Durban claimed that there have been issues with several of the brakes installed on the vehicles, including brake pads falling off of cars on the track. 

In Tuesday's response, the head mechanic on the track, in a sworn statement, said,  "I did not receive any complaints from driving coaches relative to the...brakes," referring to the brakes on the Lamborghini involved in the crash. He also said the cars are, "regularly and properly maintained."

In the 150 pages of documents, there isn't much about what could have caused this deadly crash, but in a sworn statement, a SPEEDVEGAS worker claims after the crash, a friend of the victim said the driver may had had a medical episode before the crash.

"[he] concluded our conversation by telling me that Mr. Sherwood was known to have a medical condition that caused seizures," he said. Even if the driver did have a medical episode -- the driving instructor, Ben Kely, would have had access to brakes on the passenger side of the car. 

A hearing for the lawsuit is set for Thursday, and during that hearing a judge could decide then that SPEEDVEGAS has to shut down until significant changes are made. 

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