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Tue, Sep 17, 2019

Former NASCAR Driver Fatally Injured In Aircraft Accident

Was Flying A Single Seat Aerolite 103

Mike Stefanik, one of two drivers in NASCAR history to win nine national series or touring championships, was fatally injured Sunday in a small single-seat plane crash. He was 61.

Television station WFSB reports that Stefanik was flying an Aerolite 103. He took off from Riconn Airport in Coventry, RI and was returning to land when he went down in a wooded area near the airport.

An 11-year-old boy and his father said they saw Stefanik walking away from the downed aircraft before succumbing to his injuries, according to a report. Allen Sayles, who lives near the airport, said they regularly saw Stefanik's Aerolite, and this time it was very low over the trees. Sayles' said his 11-year-old grandson and the boy's father said Stefanik was "walking and he was talking" about 15 feet away from the airplane. The youngster ran to the house to get water for the pilot, thinking he was going to be OK.

The accident remains under investigation.

“Mike Stefanik was one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, but even more so, he was a true representative of our sport,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France said in a statement. “His tough, competitive nature and excellence on the race track won him the respect and admiration of fans and competitors alike. His career stretched more than 30 years, bridging the generations between Jerry Cook and Richie Evans to our current drivers. He recorded achievements in this sport that are likely untouchable, and his legacy as a champion will endure. We will keep his wife Julie and his family and friends in our prayers.”

(Image from Aerolite Facebook page. Not accident aircraft)

FMI: Source report
NASCAR

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