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View Full Version : fatality in bmw club race



mlytle
10-30-2005, 05:18 PM
sobering incident folks.
http://www.registerbee.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=DRB/MGArticle/DRB_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1128767838348

dave mcpherson died in a single car accident at nhis bmwcca club race this weekend. he drives a jp 93 325is. i knew him and raced against him many times, we both raced in the same class.

we do de's and club racing for fun, but keep in mind the conseqeunces of things that happen at the track. this is a dangerous addiction we have, in more ways than one.


marshall

M-technik-3
10-30-2005, 05:50 PM
That's shame, He was a nice guy. Met him last year at the NCC DE at Summit Point.

SharkD
10-31-2005, 12:37 PM
Greg, which event was he at... I'm terrible with names, but I think I met him.

It's truly terrible to hear that BMWCCA has had it's first fatality and that it cost the life of someone who was so generous and gregarious.

My deepest condolences to his family and friends. I know, from personal experience, just how traumatizing and heart-wrenching the sudden and violent death of a loved one can be.

M-technik-3
10-31-2005, 01:07 PM
I Think it was one of the race ones. It was before I started going to events. I was sitting in stands. Think it was the Jefferson 500? could be wrong. Makes me think when before I buy my next helmet, I want an open face but I know a closed unit is safer.

SharkD
10-31-2005, 02:59 PM
I'd wait for the official BMWCCR accident report, before making decisions based on the wreck. (That said, I am glad I picked up a HANS device.)

mlytle
10-31-2005, 04:09 PM
dave had been to the august summit point club races the last two years. that is the event where nj and ncc chapters have the joint dinner on sat night.

macvaugh
11-01-2005, 12:26 AM
I, for one, am not pleased with the secrecy regarding this incident. I feel like a shareholder in a company that is at risk for a death, and none of my company's staff is willing to be open with me as the investigation continues.

I have had a couple of e-mail messages back and forth with Louis Goldsman, those messages suggesting that information will be released if it will help prevent a reoccurence of this unfortunate death.

For me, that is not enough. I want to know who is responsible or if not a "who" then what system or system failure caused this death. I want to know how much economic danger the club is in. I want to know how much risk non-racers are assuming to permit those club members who wish to to race. I want to be able to evaluate the club leadership's handling of this matter and I can't do that if they are spoon feeding me pablum of their choice.

Ed

1996 328ti
11-01-2005, 07:21 AM
I want to know how much economic danger the club is in.Club Racing is independent from our normal activities. It will not effect the club any more than Hurricane Katrina will. Unfortunately there have been deaths at driving schools too. I can think of two this year.
My guess is nothing official will be released until a well worded statement with all the facts can be posted. It was a single car incident.

SharkD
11-01-2005, 09:03 AM
But there's never been a fatality at a BMWCCA school, right... or has there?

woodym3
11-01-2005, 09:26 AM
Unfortunately there have been deaths at driving schools too. I can think of two this year.
.
Note that these deaths were not at BMWCCA events, however that is not to say that a fatal accident couldn't happen at one of our driving schools.

jhm5
11-01-2005, 09:33 AM
Here's a clarification -
The unfortunate club racing incident at NHIS was the first, and we all hope, last fatality at any BMWCCA event. At NCC events, there has never been an injury, as far as I know, and my participation goes back to the 70s.

Though we would all like to know more about what happened, I commend the CCA leadership for immediately posting confirmation that a fatality happened ... before wild rumor and speculation ran about on message boards such as this. The first post in this threat includes a link to a newspaper article which quotes the CCA spokesman at the scene with a brief description. Realize club officials must be very precise and accurate about details they give and must consider what might be learned for future safety.

Lets give them time to sort things out and pay respects to the unfortunate victim and his family.

NoSoup4U
11-01-2005, 10:05 AM
The silence is more out of respect for the family and liability concerns. I agree that it 'may' be helpful to know what caused the accident to occur; but, in reality, when we strap on our harnesses and gear up for the race -- we accept the risk that 'something' may happen -- regardless if we spent $5K on safety equipment or $50K.

Same principle applies to HPDE's as well. You never know. Some items are out of your control, i.e., car in front of you starts losing coolant/oil -- you are going off through no fault of your own.

My deepest condolescences to the family. I actually met him at Summit Point. These events remind you of your own mortality.

OwnedbyDuncan
11-01-2005, 10:14 AM
Despite the fact he signed a waiver the track, the local CCA chapter and National are facing the possibility of a lawsuit in the matter. If the track, the local chapter or National were negligent the family has grounds for a civil suit. There is a very interesting article about Doug Wolfgang and his suit on Speedtv.com. Also take a look at Mark Donahue's family suits against Bell etc. A signed waiver is not worth much if your are negligent. This is why I advocated SA helmets and other safety concerns when I was DS coordinator.

One of the reasons I retired as DS coordinator was that Clinton changed the law and allowed govt employees wages to be garnished as a result of a civil suit. Up until then your wages could not be garnished if you lost a civil suit and the other party was awarded damages.

PCA has lost a few students and instructors over the last 5 years. CCA has just been lucky. I tell my director the same thing regarding spies. We have just been lucky that someone we granted a clearance to hasn't been caught spying. Odds are we either have or will in the future.

New Hampshire does not have a good history.

Dave Apker

1996 328ti
11-01-2005, 10:38 AM
Please keep this thread focused on respect to the family.

mlytle
11-01-2005, 01:44 PM
I, for one, am not pleased with the secrecy regarding this incident. I feel like a shareholder in a company that is at risk for a death, and none of my company's staff is willing to be open with me as the investigation continues.

I have had a couple of e-mail messages back and forth with Louis Goldsman, those messages suggesting that information will be released if it will help prevent a reoccurence of this unfortunate death.

For me, that is not enough. I want to know who is responsible or if not a "who" then what system or system failure caused this death. I want to know how much economic danger the club is in. I want to know how much risk non-racers are assuming to permit those club members who wish to to race. I want to be able to evaluate the club leadership's handling of this matter and I can't do that if they are spoon feeding me pablum of their choice.

Ed

spoken like a true attorney ed! :)

actually, i applaud what the cr management is doing here. instead of having bits of misinformation flying about the internet, they have asked everyone involved to refrain from saying anything until the examination of the incident is complete. bravo!

and i believe cr is a separate entity from the rest of the club, so us racers aren't putting any club social events in danger.

a little patience is being asked for...stand by...the evaluation will come out when it is ready. i race in the same kind and class of car that dave did. i knew him. i am interested in the results of the inquiry too.

marshall

Pinecone
11-05-2005, 08:01 AM
a) Accident investigations need to go through the process before ANY results are made public. As information is gathering things change, thngs have to be gone back to and looked at more closely. Early info releases are seldom right, and most times very misleading. I do motor vechile fatality investigations as part of my job. I am in the process of one right now. It is not a fast process. And it needs that time to get it done RIGHT.

b) As I have been told, there have been a couple of fatalities in DE events, but none in BMW CCA events for some 20 years. PCA had one last summer at the Glen.

c) Driving on the street can result in fatalities, so why would ANYONE think that we can eliminate fatalties on the track? Yes, we will do everything that we can to reduce the number, and strive for none, but in reality, they will happen. All we can do is make them as rare as we can.

d) Especially in a race car, there is some presumption of acceptance of the risk involved.

e) If racing was perfectly safe, we wouldn't have multi layer driving suits, helmets, HANS devices, and all the other safety equipment that we use. If you think wearing 3 layers of Nomex in August is FUN, you are a bit mistaken. :)