Mom Okay with Go-Kart Racing - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Mom Okay with Go-Kart Racing

By Al Pefley  email

Jupiter, FL (WFLX)

The victim of a go -kart crash yesterday has been transferred to a burn unit in Miami and he's now listed in critical but stable condition.

The boy, Devin Olmstead of Pompano Beach, turns 9 today.  Not a very pleasant way to spend one's birthday, in the hospital. 

He was injured on Memorial Day when he lost control of his go-kart at the Palm Beach International Raceway.

The incident raises questions about the safety of such activity for kids so young.  How young is too young when it comes to go-karting?

The track where Monday's crash happened says you must be at least 5.

One mother, who has a boy about the same age as Monday's victim, says she has no problem with putting her little boy behind the wheel. Jennifer Baker worries every time her 8 year old son Ty races his motorcycle.

"He's been pretty lucky," she said.

But this Palm City mom says her son wants to give go-karts a try, and she would have no problem with that, despite the crash Monday that severely burned another child. 

"He has rode before out here at the track. He wants to, he wants to pursue this. And I know it's pretty fast, but I'm ready to let him do it. He's good on the motorcycle, he's good on four-wheelers, so I wouldn't hesitate to let him ride the go-karts," Baker said.

Jennifer says she was watching a motorcycle race on another track at Palm Beach International Raceway Monday afternoon, when the go-kart crash happened on a separate track nearby. Olmstead's cart, which his family owns, looks like a miniature Corvette. It flipped and caught fire, and several bystanders climbed a fence and rushed over to put out the fire and help the boy get out of his seatbelt. 

"I did see like a puff of smoke and someone said I think one of the carts were on fire," Baker said. 

The victim of the go-kart crash who was critically burned is 9, her son Ty is 8. But despite Monday's fiery crash, she says it wouldn't stop her from giving her son the green light if he wants to race go-karts. She says the pastime helps kids develop good judgement.  "I think it gives them a lot of responsibility. You know I mean you put something that fast, you know you sit them in something that fast, you know, you have to have a lot of faith in them. So I think good judgement, and I just think it's a great thing," Baker said. 

What advice would she give her 8 year old before letting him race a go-kart?

"Don't be crazy. Yeah. Do not be crazy. Go out and do your best but do not get carried away with that," she explained. 

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