Injured derby driver identified

Published 4:22 pm Monday, June 28, 2010

The demolition derby driver burned Sunday night after his car exploded at the Worth County Fair has been identified by the Worth County Sheriff’s Office as Matt Ertman of Blue Earth.

Ertman was flown to the burn unit at the University of Iowa in Iowa City Sunday night. His condition remains unknown.

Paul Nielsen, spokesman with “Masters of Disaster,” who puts on the derby, said the demolition car Ertman was driving reportedly exploded during the event after it hit another car.

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Nielsen said he thinks a cut in the car’s gas line or a pinched fuel line lead to the explosion.

Ertman’s brother, wearing jeans and a T-shirt, pulled Ertman out of the burning car, Nielsen added. Northwood firefighters, who were also on scene at the time, responded in mere 30 seconds.

Assisting at the scene were the Northwood Volunteer Fire Company, the Worth County Sheriff’s Office, Mason City Fire and Rescue, and Mercy Air Life.

Nielsen said there were 10 participants in Ertman’s class during the event. There were about 42 participants in the entire derby.

Look to the Tribune for further updates as they become available.