Indianapolis 500 Driver Salt Walther Dies at 65
(Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway)
Indianapolis 500 driver Salt Walther, who was badly injured in one of the most spectacular crashes in the history of the race, has died at the age of 65, WIBC has learned.
Walther drove in the “500” six times, finishing last three times, including the first two times he started the race.
Walther was best known for the devastating crash he was involved in at the start of the 1973 “500”. As the field came down for the green flag, Walther’s car touched wheels with another, sending the Ohioan’s car up into the catch fencing. The impact exposed Walther’s legs and sprayed fuel into the stands, injuring several spectators. Walther’s car finally ended up upside down.
Walther received serious burns and had several fingers amputated.
Walther returned to the “500” the following year, finishing 17th. His best finish in the “500” came in 1976 when he placed 9th.
Walther also raced unlimited hydroplanes and competed in NASCAR.
In recent years, the former driver has had several brushes with the law, and battled an addition to painkillers.
Walther’s death was confirmed by the Montgomery, Ohio County Coroner’s Office.