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Motorcyclist killed at Summit Point

June 07, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

SUMMIT POINT, W.Va. -- A Berkeley Springs, W.Va., motorcyclist was killed Sunday morning at Summit Point Motorsports Park during a practice session, a track spokeswoman said.

Chad Sisler, 30, lost control of the Kawasaki 600 motorcycle he was driving up a hill after turn nine, said track spokeswoman Maria Orsini. Sisler struck a bridge abutment in the 8:54 a.m. accident and was pronounced dead at the track, Orsini said.

Orsini referred questions about the cause of the wreck to WERA Motorcycle Racing Inc., which sanctioned the motorcycle races that attracted about 200 spectators and riders Saturday and Sunday. WERA officials usually inspect a motorcycle in fatal crashes in an attempt to determine a cause, she said.

WERA officials could not be reached for comment Sunday afternoon.

Sisler was riding during a second practice session, Orsini said. Seventeen, eight-lap motorcycle races were held at the track Sunday and Sisler planned to compete in three, Orsini said.

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"We're all very sad," Orsini said.

Sunday's wreck was at least the fifth fatal crash at the raceway since October 2001, according to Herald-Mail archives.

The last fatal wreck occurred in November when Cale Mortensen Kastanek, 28, of Hagerstown, died after the two-seat Honda S2000 he was driving struck a wall in a turn after a straight section, track officials said at the time.

Kastanek was competing in a timed trial event where racers are judged on their best lap time, track officials said.

In May 2008, a 13-year-old Londonderry, N.H., boy was killed at the raceway when his motorcycle struck another driver's cycle that was experiencing mechanical trouble, police said.

Alex Lyskawa suffered major head and neck trauma when he was run over by a third motorcyclist traveling at a high rate of speed, according to West Virginia State Police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Summit Point Motorsports Park, situated in southern Jefferson County, features vintage car and motorcycle competitions. In 2004, a 2.1-mile track was dedicated at the facility, which features a hairpin turn copied from the famous Nurburgring car racetrack in Germany.

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