Whitlock, wearing a hoodie, shorts and full-face helmet, revs the engine and burns down the rear tires until each shreds. By then, the engine sounds like it is close to seizing. When he finally lets off the gas, a radiator hose, which apparently had been routed from the radiator in the rear to the engine up front, running next to the driver’s seat, explodes. For the next 15 seconds, he is drenched in steam until a safety worker pulls him from the car. Whitlock is led, presumably, to an ambulance, but his second- and third-degree burns are so severe a medivac helicopter is called to fly him to an area hospital.
The next day, Mitchell released a video recap of Cleetus and Cars to his millions of followers. He opens with a monologue about how he’s heard criticism about how many people—sans masks—turned out for the event, and he thinks people are overreacting. We’re not even going to get into that. Germaine to this story is that he never mentions Whitlock’s accident, and his run isn’t shown in the montage that follows. “Everyone had a safe, great time, and that’s what you’re gonna see in today’s video…we ripped some tires, and we had a hell of a good time,” he says.
Meanwhile, Whitlock’s fiancée started a GoFundMe page asking for $100,000 toward his medical expenses, which include skin grafts to repair third-degree burns to his back. Whitlock’s girlfriend wrote on the charity site that he is experiencing “the worst pain in his life.” So far, at this writing, $38,379 has been raised.
As the Bradenton Herald reported, it was only after the spectator video embedded above was uploaded to YouTube that Mitchell was forced to address the issue. He did so on his secondary channel with only 370,000 subscribers, recording a straight-to-camera clip where he acknowledges the accident, provides an update on Whitlock’s condition, points out the safety measures that were in place and defends his public non-response.