David "Salt" Walther

  • Born: November 22, 1947
  • Died: December 27, 2012
  • Location: Trotwood, Ohio

Tribute


in this May 28, 1973, file photo, Salt Walther sits in his car he he and other drivers waited during intermittent rain showers before the Indianapolis 500 auto race in Indianapolis. Walther, the former auto and hydroplane racer who was severely burned in a spectacular crash in the 1973 race, has died. He was 65. The Montgomery County (Ohio) Coroner's Office confirmed the death Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, saying Walther was reported dead Thursday night and that the cause of death hadn't been determined.

Former Indy 500 driver dies

The Associated Press

TROTWOOD, Ohio (AP) — David "Salt" Walther, the former auto and hydroplane racer who was severely burned in a spectacular crash in the 1973 Indianapolis 500, has died. He was 65.

The Montgomery County Coroner's Office confirmed the death Friday, saying Walther was reported dead Thursday night and that the cause of death hadn't been determined.

Walther also drove briefly in NASCAR, finishing 12th in the 1976 Daytona 500.

At the start of the 1973 Indy 500, Walther's car pinwheeled down the track, his legs sticking out of his torn up racer, after touching wheels with Jerry Grant and slamming into the catch-fencing in a fiery crash near the starting line. Blinded by the fireball that spread across the front straightaway, several other drivers slammed into Walther's car.

Walther fought an addiction to pain killers after the accident and spent time in jail and prison. He was arrested in Dayton last month in a case dating to 2007, and it wasn't immediately known if he was incarcerated at the time of his death.


Condolence & Memory Journal

We were buddies in high school for a short time. Thank you for letting me visit at your first Indy time trials. Who would have known the outcome. You scared the sh** out of me when you would draft in the Chevy station wagon. RIP

Posted by Greg Meyer - Arlington, TX - School Friend   August 01, 2015


Family Album

in this May 28, 1973, file photo, Salt Walther sits in his car he he and other drivers waited during intermittent rain showers before the Indianapolis 500 auto race in Indianapolis. Walther, the former auto and hydroplane racer who was severely burned in a spectacular crash in the 1973 race, has died. He was 65. The Montgomery County (Ohio) Coroner's Office confirmed the death Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, saying Walther was reported dead Thursday night and that the cause of death hadn't been determined.
In this May 28, 1973, file photo, the feet of Salt Walther protrude from his car (77) after a crash during the Indianapolis 500 auto race in Indianapolis. Walther, the former auto and hydroplane racer who was severely burned in the spectacular crash, has died. He was 65. The Montgomery County (Ohio) Coroner's Office confirmed the death Friday, Dec. 28, 2012,saying Walther was reported dead Thursday night and that the cause of death hadn't been determined.