Gate Crew Member Dies After Penn Accident

A worker on the starting gate crew was killed at Penn National Race Course shortly after the start of the fourth race the evening of June 8.

William Steward, 46, of Elizabethtown, Pa., died of multiple traumatic injuries at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at 10:05 p.m. EDT, Patty Garber, Dauphin County chief deputy coroner, told the Harrisburg Patriot-News. Steward fell off the moving starting gate and it rolled over him.

The final five of nine scheduled races were canceled. The entire live program for June 9 was scrapped as well.

"In light of this tragic accident, it was an easy decision to cancel tonight's races, as we all come together to mourn the loss of a cherished friend and colleague who we all came to know and love over the last 22 years," Penn National general manager Richard Schnaars said in a statement. "The Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission and Pennsylvania Horsemen's and Benevolent Association support the decision to cancel tonight's races and join us in expressing our condolences to the family."

Earlier published reports indicated Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the incident.