NorthEastern Midget Association driver Shane Hammond was killed in an accident Sunday at Thompson International Speedway, the Connecticut State police confirmed.

Hammond, 27, of Halifax, Mass. was involved in a crash on the fourth lap of a scheduled 25-lap NEMA Midget feature.

Hammond’s car made contact with the car driven by Chris Leonard of Pelham, N.H. heading into turn 3. Hammond’s car ended up going over the concrete wall at the entrance to the corner and through a loose banner billboard above the wall.

It was unclear if Hammond’s car impacted directly with the stanchion holding the banner billboard upright. Hammond’s car was entirely over the wall and caught in the billboard when rescue personnel arrived at the scene of the crash.

The accident took place at 1:06 p.m. Rescue personnel spent about 12 minutes extricating Hammond from the car. The ambulance carrying Hammond left the track at 1:18 p.m. headed to Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam. Track officials said they expected that Hammond would be airlifted to a trauma center from Day Kimball.

State police dispatcher Jay Robillard at Troop D in Danielson said Hammond was pronounced dead at Day Kimball. Robillard said only that Hammond sustained “traumatic injuries.

"At 2:11 p.m. a flatbed wrecker carrying Hammond’s car, covered by a tarp, slowly drove through the back paddock area at Thompson where NEMA teams were parking their haulers for the event. A state police cruiser with its lights flashing followed the flatbed out of the track.

 The race, scheduled for 25-laps, was called off by NEMA officials after the crash. The race was the fourth event of the 8 event Icebreaker 2008 card at the track, the kickoff of the local racing season. There was a 1 hour and 34 minute delay after the crash as track workers removed what was left of the billboard. Racing resumed after the cleanup was concluded.