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200 mph wreck kills racer


wheeler 2014.jpg

Sam Wheeler in 2014 (Vance & Hines)

Sam Wheeler, a fashionable land speed motorbike racer, is lifeless after the excessive-performance bike he was once testing at Utah’s famed Bonneville Salt Flats fish-tailed, went airborne and crashed at 200 mph. He was 72.

Wheeler died Monday afternoon at Intermountain Scientific Center in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray because of traumatic injuries suffered within the motorbike accident, health facility spokesman Jess Gomez said.

Wheeler was once going about 200 mph throughout a take a look at run when the again of the streamliner bike began fish tailing, said Mike Cook Dinner, the adventure organizer who witnessed the incident. His motorbike began to slip and then popped into the air and got here crashing down on the caged section the place Wheeler was once seated, Prepare Dinner said. Wheeler used to be alive when emergency crews extracted him from the car however died about 4 hours later at the clinic, Prepare Dinner said.

“We All have real heavy hearts,” mentioned Cook, organizer of Mike Prepare Dinner’s Bonneville Shootout. “Land pace racing is among the most family oriented sports activities there may be the world.”

Wheeler, an engineer from Arcadia, California, used to be referred to as an innovator and pioneer in the sport. He spent more than twenty years building, wonderful-tuning and racing a bike on which he reached speeds exceeding 300 mph, stated Pat McDowell, a fellow racer and longtime friend. At one time, he held the land speed file for bikes, he stated.

“He Is was once pretty much one of the most legends of our sport,” McDowell mentioned. “He did it along with his mind, not his pockets.”

Wheeler used to be checking out the motorbike this week in anticipation of two giant races in August and September on the Salt Flats. The site brings races from across the us of a to use the flat, glasslike surface to set pace records.

He had been engaged on the motorcycle in latest years with a purpose of atmosphere the motorcycle speed report and surpassing 400 mph, McDowell said.

“Everybody was once rooting for him, even competitors,” said McDowell, vp of the Southern California Timing Association.

Wheeler used to be identified for his skill to build and modify his motorcycle by himself. He was once perfectionist who knew aerodynamics well, said Invoice Lattin, president of the Southern California Timing Association, which is about to host an enormous racing event at the Salt Flats in August.

“He constructed that motorcycle by hand. Each single phase on it,” Lattin said. “He Is been rebuilding it, making it superior, faster and extra aerodynamic.”

He’s survived via a wife and two kids, mentioned McDowell. Wheeler’s family could not right away be reached for comment.

McDowell, Prepare Dinner and Lattin stated Wheeler was once a kind-hearted, laid-again man.

”He was once the nicest guy on the earth,” Lattin stated. “He would do the rest for any one.



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