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.


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