Former Indy-car Driver Crashes On Road, Killing 2

Posted: March 21, 1995

Mark Smith, a former Indy-car driver, was behind the wheel in a highway crash that killed his brother and another man in The Plains, Va.

Smith, 27, of McMinnville, Ore., was driving a Saab 900 when it ran off the road, slid down an embankment and struck a utility pole Saturday afternoon, Fauquier County Sheriff Joseph Higgs said yesterday.

Smith's brother, Michael Smith, 29, of Dundee, Ore., died yesterday at Fairfax Hospital after being on life support systems, Higgs said. Another passenger, Rhory Draeger, 37, of Clackamas, Ore., died Saturday.

Higgs attributed the accident to speeding and said charges are pending against Mark Smith. Mark Smith and a 26-year-old female passenger were not injured, Higgs said.

Mark Smith recently retired from racing to join Evergreen International, a private aviation company in McMinnville owned by the Smiths' father, Delford Smith.

He was a full-time Indy-car driver the last two seasons, finishing eighth in total points in 1993 and 17th in 1994. He failed to qualify for the last two Indianapolis 500 races and his best finish was fifth in the 1994 Marlboro 500 in Michigan.

Higgs said the Smiths and their passengers were driving through Fauquier County, an area about 50 miles southwest of Washington, when they became separated from a car they were following.

The crash occurred as Mark Smith was trying to catch up with the other car, Higgs said.

TENNIS

* Arantxa Sanchez Vicario made the earliest departure by a top seed in the 11-year history of the Lipton Championships, losing to Californian Marianne Werdel Witmeyer, 6-2, 7-5, in Key Biscayne, Fla. Third-seeded Michael Chang, No. 4 Alberto Berasategui and No. 7 Jim Courier also lost. Top-ranked Pete Sampras and No. 2 Andre Agassi posted straight-set victories.

* The retrial for Guenter Parche, who stabbed tennis star Monica Seles nearly two years ago, begins today in Hamburg, Germany. Parche, went free in October 1993 after receiving a suspended two-year sentence.

BOXING

* Mike Tyson plans to visit an Islamic mosque in Plainfield, Ind., immediately after his release from prison Saturday, according to spiritual adviser Muhammad Siddeeq. Siddeeq said Tyson's entourage, expected to include promoter Don King and managers Rory Holloway and John Horne, will go with him to a mosque when the former heavyweight champion is released from the Indiana Youth Center.

* Former world champion James Toney (45-2-2) began his quest for a third title by stopping Karl Willis (20-3-1) in the eighth round of their light heavyweight bout in Auburn Hills, Mich.

PHILLY FILE

* Jason Campbell, a 6-5 center at Conwell-Egan High, has signed to play basketball at Holy Family College.

SPORT STOPS

* America3's almost all-women sailing team won its first race since Dave Dellenbaugh joined the crew aboard Mighty Mary, beating Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes by 1 minute, 36 seconds to pull into a second-place tie in the America's Cup defender semifinals off San Diego.

* Apprentice jockey Francisco Leon Jr. was thrown from River's Dream during a race at Hialeah Park, Fla. Leon, complaining of neck pain, was taken to Hialeah Hospital for X-rays. The horse, who fell on the backstretch, was put to death.

* Art Mollner, 82, a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team that won a gold medal at Munich in 1936, has died of cancer.

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