Track crash kills rider in W.Va.

September 28, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

SUMMIT POINT, W.Va. - A motorcyclist died following an accident at Summit Point Motorsports Park Sunday, officials said.

The victim was identified as Justin Baccino, said Bill Scott, owner of the track.

Scott said he did not know Baccino's age or place of residence.

Baccino died after he was run over in turn 5 at the track, according to Scott and an official with WERA Motorcycle Road Racing.

Baccino died while being flown to a hospital, said Evelyne Clarke, president of WERA Motorcycle Road Racing.

Additional details were not available Monday.

Baccino's death sent shock waves through the racing community. Using a bulletin board on a WERA website, motorcyclists expressed shock over the death.


Rodger Doyle, a WERA member and longtime motorcycle racer, said it seems to be a bad year for motorcycle racing. In pro racing, there was a fatality in Japan this year and riders were injured in other races, said Doyle, of Buffalo, N.Y.

Motorcycle racing is generally a safe sport, Doyle said in telephone interview Monday night.

Unlike riding on public roads, racetracks contain few obstacles that can pose dangers to motorcyclists if they wreck, Doyle said. Although motorcycle racers can be traveling up to 100 mph when they wreck, they usually tumble or slide safely on tracks, Doyle said.

And the protective equipment motorcyclists now have is "truly extraordinary," Doyle said, adding that it contains body armor.

"It just seemed that this kid was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Doyle said.

Summit Point Raceway is a 10-turn, two-mile asphalt track in southern Jefferson County that features vintage race car competitions and other events.

In May, a new 2.1 mile track was dedicated by track officials, which features a hairpin turn copied from the famous Nurburg Ring car racetrack in Germany.

Although the new track was built for car racing, track officials said another reason they needed the track is to have more room to conduct anti-terrorism training.

Government agencies like the U.S. State Department use the track to receive evasive driving training to help protect them from possible terrorist attacks.

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