Grandfather killed after vehicle malfunctions while grandson is behind wheel at Milan Dragway

Authorities say the grandson of a man killed at Milan Dragway on Saturday was behind the wheel when the vehicle malfunctioned, sending the car into the victim.

Video shows Nicholas Tilley reversing before the vehicle suddenly accelerates, hitting and killing 78-year-old Keith Hallett.

"Keith was a wonderful man. He was an asset to the neighborhood," said Davis Stephens, a friend of Hallett. "He was always there with a helpful hand. If we needed a problem corrected or something, he was a very hands-on guy."

Monroe County sheriff's deputies believe an engine malfunction led to the crash.

"I was quite a ways away from it. I heard the car roar, and I know that wasn’t right, and then all the commotion at the starting line. I knew something was going on there that wasn’t good," Stephens said.

He said Hallett was part of the pit crew when he was killed.

"He was a racer for many, many years. He drove cars for many, many years. The hazards involved with that are there; you can’t ignore them, but I’m really surprised we lost him," he said.