Racer Dane Westby, 28 years old, was killed in a streetbike accident last night in Tulsa, Okla. KTUL.com in Tulsa reports the accident occurred in the 1400 block of South Peoria Street in an urban area around 8:30 pm, when Westby and his bike ran off the right side of the road, slid along the curb and hit a telephone pole. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Roadracingworld.com posted comments from Westby’s long-time friend and former mechanic Dustin Meador, who says the skid marks at the scene indicate that Westby was braking and trying to avoid something in his path. Google Earth confirms there’s some sort of fast-food outlet directly across the street from the crash site.
Westby, a second-generation racer, was fastest in MotoAmerica’s new Superstock 1000 class on his Yamaha R1 – and impressively, fourth fastest overall of any class – at Circuit of the Americas Dunlop tire test just last week, and won three Daytona SportBike races in 2014, the last one at New Jersey Motorsports Park by nine seconds in the rain. Just a couple weeks ago, Westby – dubbed “the Wolverine” by commentator Scott Russell for his facial hair and aggressive style – rode his bicycle from Tulsa to Daytona, where he drove the pace car for the 200.
MO’s deepest condolences to Westby’s family, friends and team. We’ll all miss watching the Wolverine race.