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Discussion in 'Racing' started by Strong Bad, Oct 7, 2012.
Very sorry to hear the sad news...
I'm sorry I don't know what happened. I wasn't there. I hope Jimmy's family and friends can find peace.
This is the word I received from his teammate Ken:
Jimmy stopped on course (reason unknown) and there was a buggy right behind him and he couldn't stop. The buggy hit Jim and broke his femur and dislocated his hip. Buddy Feldcamp (who is a surgeon) was the first on scene. Jimmy died in Buddy's arms peacefully.
Jimmy pitted for our 2010 and 2011 Baja 1000 teams. I camped with he and his family at Pete's camp. He was a genuine stand up guy who would give you the shirt off his back, his last drink of water and try to find you more. He loved life to it's fullest.... he was a jokester and would make anyone laugh. Jimmy was very mechanically inclined and could improvise with the best of them.
In 2011 he helped our 2x team by pitting and chasing for Ken Wortman. When our main race lights showed up at the wrong location, Jimmy strapped the race lights to his chest with a tie down and rode 40 miles on a stock 450x headlight to get our best light to the next pit so that his rider would have the best light for his section.
Jimmy was a great friend but an even greater husband and farther. I know his wife and son will forever miss him.... I have the greatest respect Dawna who stated earlier that Jimmy was doing what loved when he passed.
Dawna we will always be here for you. Don't ever hesitate to call on us for anything.
RIP Jimmy... you will be missed!
Ken Wortman wanted me to pass on to anyone who would listen that
"NORRA did right by Jimmy and Dawna. He said they were treated with nothing but kindness and respect. They took care of everything from getting Jim home to flying the girls back to the states. Stand up crew to the max!"
I was supposed to be on this trip with Ken and Jimmy but had to pull out due to a new job that I will be starting in June. Ken and I have both committed to race this event next year! I know that Jimmy and Aaron will be riding with us to the finish!
This is great to hear that NORRA did everything in their power to help the family!
Alex I just dropped you a couple bucks (embarrassingly little, in the middle of changing jobs) to help defray Dawna's costs. Would it be appropriate to start a separate thread regarding this effort?
I appreciate the help KN! Yes I think a new thread for this would be appropriate. So far we are at $725.00 in donations with a few sending in checks as well. We have had a great start with 6 people donating so far.
All of these funds will be given directly to Dawna in a few weeks in the form of a check.
Dawna, you and your family are in our thoughts. I only just met you guys during this race but your kindness and enthusiam left an impression on me and my team.
You guys just went by my place in Mulege(Posada Concepcion),obviously on your way home.I need to let everyone know where we are,so they can stop,stay over ,or see if we can help at all.We came down to Loretto on Monday night,to see everyone check in, and head out Tues.So sorry to hear about Jimmy.
I just crossed back into the states. I came up on Jimmy's accident. I have been upset ever since. This has deeply saddened me and I am so very sorry for Jimmy's family. I was not able to help him. The only thing we could do was give Jimmy his last offroad ride out in the back of my suburban. If is ok with his family I am renaming the suburban Jimmy in his honor.
Thanks for helping, John.
I am sure that Dawna would be more than pleased with that . Thank You very much for helping with this and getting Jimmy out and everything else You, Buddy and everyone else there did to make his final minutes as easy as possible.
POSTED TODAY ON THUMPERTALK BAJA FORUM
This is the Michael Drotor referenced in the horribly inaccurate story posted on http://bajasafari.blogspot.com/. I would also ask that anyone capable of taking that site down, please do so. I was NOT on the scene of the accident when it occurred. I was waiting at the end of the stage with two of my team mates which happened to be certified EMT's and they had their gear with them. We heard from the NORRA guys that a rider had been hit and had a broken leg. They told us that it was going to be a while before a helicopter or ambulance would be able to help so we volunteered to go in and help if we could. We loaded up in our chase suburban and headed out to help as fast as we could. When we got to the scene which was eleven miles into the course, in a little under ten minutes, but it was too late but there was nothing we could have done anyway.
Again, not being present at the scene during the accident, this is as accurate as I can be. According to the people on the scene, including the co-driver of the 414 buggy, the 414 buggy was following Jimmy closely and Jimmy swapped ends after hitting a concrete vado. The 414 buggy was so close that they collided with him before he went down, causing broken bones and internal injuries. The driver of the buggy stopped and tried to render assistance along with a few other riders, including a doctor. They had been giving him CPR for a long time before giving up. Jimmy asked that his wife and son be told that he loved them and passed peacefully. When we got to the scene, the decision was made to load him up and transport him to the end of the stage. We met the ambulance about 5 miles from the crash scene and they checked his vitals and asked us to transport him the rest of the way out. We immediately agreed to do so and were honored to be able to help our fallen friend in any way we could. I had never met Jimmy before but my teammates had and any baja racer is a friend of mine. We were interviewed by the investigators and waited for the coroner to get there, then helped transfer his remains into their vehicle. It was a somber and sobering experience for everyone involved.
So that's what happened as far as I can tell. The course was extremely rough and tight and that buggy had no business being that close to him because there was no safe place to pass. The line of sight up the race course was clear for a long ways, probably half a mile, so I can see no excuse for that driver to have hit him. Again though, I was not there when it happened. My only advice for NORRA is to have an abmulance ready at the beginning and end of each stage and have a couple of heli's ready but other than that, they did a great job handling everything. I am however, extremely disappointed at the behavior of a lot of the buggy drivers as I heard stories of very inappropriate driving and scary passes from many motorcycle racers. I know people get excited when racing but it's just a race. I really hope that the driver sells his buggy and racing equipment and donates the proceeds to Jimmy's family. If he doesn't, I don't imagine he'll receive a warm welcome at future events to say the least.
All of that said, I never met Jimmy in person but from what I've read, I wish that I had. He'll always be a hero in my book and typing this all out is bring tears to my eyes. Someone has already said it, but he entered the next form of existence doing something awesome, something inspiring, and something that he loved. I believe that this is the path to heaven or whatever wonderful afterlife you believe in and I can only hope to go out in a similar fashion.
To Jimmy's friends and family, In my humble opinion, you have been extremely lucky to live in the presence of a true hero. My condolences go out to you. If there's anything I can do to help, with anything, say the word!
With permission of the family, we will be putting "Jimmy" badges on our chase Suburban and will be dedicating all future race/chase efforts in his honor. We will think of him and be inspired by him every time we bounce down the trails. "
Wow... all I can say...
Such a tragedy to have a rider run over by a car and killed like that. I can understand a deadly single bike crash because that is a part of motorcycle racing on any level. But this was wrong somehow.
This year Norra tried to separate the bikes from the cars further, but it obviously wasn't enough for this event. While it is promoted as a 'fun' event, motor racing is racing. After this tragedy, a rider friend suggested to me that the bikes probably need to be fast enough to stay ahead of everybody on four wheels every day. At least not get caught by the amateur drivers. Most of those people are not Robby Gordon...
Seems like a good observation so I thought I'd post it.
In this rally I believe that bikes could easily be ran after the cars being that the vintage cars/trucks are less apt to tear up the the course and it being ran mostly on such huge double laned dirt roads. I was involved with a really gnarly uncalled for pass in last years rally regarding common sense and lack of care for others lives, some of the car/truck drivers need to give bikes a break when overtaking but this has been talked about for years now.
This is the second bike racer death in 3 years I have been heavily affected by, my first was a fellow ironman racer Steve Thompson whom passed while racing at the 2010 parker 250 in a crash in a rocky section. I think they both would tell all of us to race on !
I wished I had the chance to meet you Jimmy S.
Adios and keep an eye on us
I don't think running bikes after cars would be a very good solution. You'd end up with even more car/bike interaction as the faster bikes catch the slower cars. And you don't want the bikes racing in the dark if possible - we don't have nearly the amount of light that the cars run.
It's a tough situation. Due to mechanical problems, I was in the middle of the cars on the first special stage and running pretty slow. For the most part, I stayed off to the side of the course, and had my head on a swivel constantly looking around to see if anybody was running up behind me.
Due to problems on the first day, I started as the very last bike on the 2nd day. And it was a long day (2 very long special stages). I started getting caught by cars on the 2nd special. I gave them room to pass, and again once I knew cars were coming through I was constantly looking back behind me to see if cars were coming. I had no problems with the cars. Each one that passed me did so carefully. I understand that wasn't the situation for everyone, but the cars were as careful as I could expect for me.
I came across Jimmy shortly after his accident. There was two buggies and a motorcyclist tending to him, and I was told he had a broken leg. I was also told that a sat phone call had been made and assistance was coming, so I continued on and met the first assistance vehicle on the course and explained how far back Jimmy was. I learned later that night that Jimmy had passed, but didn't know the specifics of what occurred.
I think the best situation for this event would be to run bikes each day by themselves, and then run the 4-wheel vehicles the following day. I understand this complicates the logistics for the course workers and NORRA significantly, and makes it more expensive. Bump up the entry fee as required, and let's make this race as safe as possible.
I hate to weigh in too much on this, since I didn't even make the starting line this year, but I think cars first and cars on different days are both worse.
The roads we are racing on are public and open. I would much rather be out there the day that everyone knows the race is coming through than the day before or the day after and catch a work truck coming the other way. I'm not sure if D4SS1 used the same winding road cut into the side of a hill this year, but can you imagine what would happen? It wouldn't be good in the best case, let alone the worst.
I don't expect this will be a problem that will get solved and I would expect the race to be run the same next year, but I think they need to throw more people out of the race or not let them in in the first place. How about a race resume before you're allowed to tear up the desert with 400+hp?
Last year, Walker Evans was rumored to have buzzed a bike unsafely while on course, nerfed the pace truck and during my only interaction, sent his support crew of two raptors and a trailer up the course the wrong way while the race was hot. Thats just an example, but instead of not inviting him back, he's one of the featured drivers.
Also, how about a breathalyzer at every course in and out? You think the second half of the day no one has crushed a few tecate?
The unfortunate truth is that the best way to avoid danger from other competitors is to ride fast enough that they can't catch you.
Scotty's quote of Danny's above is accurate. The suburban was part of LAMEco's chase crew. Our rider Patrick Ditson stopped & talked to Jimmy about 5 miles before the accident. Jimmy told Patrick that he would shadow him in. Patrick said that he seemed pretty tired. Jimmy followed Patrick for awhile but then Patrick lost him. Patrick is pretty fast & I would imagine that Jimmy couldn't keep up with him. The ground in front of the vado was washed out & it was a pretty good hump to get over it. I can easily understand why he didn't get over it. It was totally inexcusable that the rock crawler buggy was that close. He had plenty of room to go around. Danny didn't mention that Bud Feldkamp was with him. He was worried about Buddy Jr. Buddy was the Doctor that had come up on the accident and had tried to save Jimmy. When Danny said he got there in 10 minutes he wasn't kidding. Jimmy(the suburban) has some pretty trick suspension. However Danny needs to learn to listen. When Bud Feldkamp suggests that you're running trophy truck speeds you need to slow down.
I talked to Marty the day we left Cabo. The current plan for next year is to let the really fast guys on bikes go first, then the cars And trucks and finally the rest of the bikes. Their desire is to increase the vintage and motorcycle numbers in this event. They realize that the only significant growth must come from the bikes.
We're all hurting right now and feel strongly for Jimmy and his wife and family. Jimmy was living the dream, the one we all aspire to. I pray that he is getting some tips now From Steve McQueen and Bud Ekins. God Bless you Jimmy.