A Wisconsin monster truck show promoter who spoke Friday about the safety record at his shows died today after he was injured in an accident Saturday night at an event he organized. It was the second death at a monster truck show in nine days.
George Eisenhart Jr., 41, the president of Image Promotions, which puts on the Monster Truck Nationals, was hit by one of the trucks in the Motor Sports Monster Truck & Thrill Show Saturday night at the Alliant Energy Center Coliseum in Madison, Wis. He died today, according to the Dane County Coroner.
Safety at monster truck shows came under scrutiny after a 6-year-old boy was killed at a show in Tacoma, Wash., when he was hit by flying debris from a truck that broke apart as it performed a flip.
But Eisenhart said Friday that the accident that killed Sebastin Hizey of Puyallup, Wash., at the Monster Jam show in Tacoma on Jan. 16 was a fluke. He said it was the first time a fan had been killed at a monster truck show and added that there has never been an accident in the 16 years of the Monster Truck Nationals.
The Monster Jam show is not affiliated with the Monster Truck Nationals.
"This is our 16th year, and I wish I had a big piece of wood to knock on right now, but we have not had an incident besides a gal slipping in the aisle at another location," Eisenhart told ABC News affiliate WKOW-TV in Madison, Wis. "That's been all."
He told WKOW that his company takes many precautions to ensure fan safety. All the trucks in the show are routinely inspected, and as an added precaution the first four rows of seats in the arena are closed off to spectators.
"We think our venue is very safe and all the shows we do are very safe," Eisenhart said.
Witnesses said Eisenhart was struck when he stepped out from a restricted area right into the path of an oncoming truck. The show was ended after the accident and fans were asked to leave the arena.
Bill DiCarlo, executive director of the Alliant Energy Center, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinnel that the deaths of Eisenhart and Hizey should not be connected.
"These are two horrible sets of circumstances, not linked, but it's very sobering," he said.
The three-day show had been scheduled to continue today, but it was cancelled after the coroner announced that Eisenhart had died.