Speedboat Driver Killed In LB Sprint Nationals Race At Marine Stadium Is Recalled, Mourned
|(Aug. 9, 2021, 1:50 p.m., updated 5:35 p.m.) -- Fans of the Long Beach Sprint Nationals speedboat races are mourning the death of a speedboat driver killed on Aug. 8 when his 100+ mph speedboat either contacted a rough patch of water or contacted another craft or some other cause (accounts differ) flipped his speedboat several times and ejected its driver. Emergency crews rushed him to a local trauma center where he didn't survive.
City officials shut the race down for investigation (separately reported with comments coming by Doug Krikorian..)
UPDATE: In a statement today provided to LBREPORT.com, Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price says: "This tragedy is absolutely disturbing and my heart goes out to the driver's family. Making sure a tragedy like this does not happen ever again is a priority for me. We must ensure we have a safety-first approach to any events similar to this in the future." END update
The event has been an annual LB tradition (interrupted in 2020 by the COVID pandemic) drawing large crowds for over 70 years.
In 2018, another speedboat driver died in a Sprint Nationals crash and in 2019 organizers agreed to new City-sought regulations for the event.
Long time area resident Tom Marchese was among witnesses and shared his reflections for LBREPORT.com (edited here):
Friends, I bow my head to pray again as I share with you my day at the races with my friends who won the event, Heath Hiebert and the GN 369 team. Sadly, the K boat race followed and in front of us we had a terrible collision that flipped and ejected a speedboat driver. I would say 50, crew men and women, and drivers, and racers, got into the water, dove in clothed, to fight to help get him out then up on a gurney and quickly into an EMT truck. Fabulous professionals rushed him to a trauma center unconscious and clinging to this Earth.
Aug 9, 1:30 p.m. Clarified that a new state law doesn't require a state Attorney General investigation since it applies only to officer involved shootings of unarmed suspects and in this case the suspect was armed.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Recommend LBREPORT.com to your Facebook friends:
Follow LBReport.com with:
Contact us: mail@LBReport.com