Kart Racer Killed In Collision With Deer At Summit Point Raceway
Copyright 2004, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
David Smith, 22, of Barrington Hills, Illinois, died Sunday, July 25, from injuries sustained when he collided with a deer while racing in a World Karting Association (WKA) 125cc shifter kart event July 24 at Summit Point Raceway, located in rural Summit Point, West Virginia, according to a posting on the official WKA website.
Confirming the incident to Roadracingworld.com, Summit Point Raceway owner Bill Scott said it was the second collision that he knew of between a deer and a vehicle at speed on the racetrack in the last 25 years. The other collision, according to Scott, was between a deer and a Porsche.
“We went to the game warden, and they gave us permission to shoot (the deer), as if it were an airport,” said Scott. “We did that for a while, but there’s just so many of them. We’re gonna have to figure out some way to identify that deer are in the place. They usually don’t come from the outside during an event. They come from inside the track. We’ll have to scout the woods before an event or everyday or something.
“It’s a tough one. I don’t know what to do about it. You put up Airfence to keep guys OK, but you could hit a rabbit and die. I’m a racer. I come from that background. So we try to make the place better and safer every year. You’re not looking at an owner who tries to side-step problems, but this one is very difficult.
“We know the problem exists, and we’ll do whatever it takes to not let this happen again.”
I read the post about the kart driver hitting a deer and Bill Scott saying it was only the second occurrence in 25 years. Well, I hit a deer at the track in April this year during a NESBA track day at the Jefferson Circuit. I was at full speed going down the back straight and killed the deer instantly. I luckily did not get hurt, the bike didn't fair as well.
Regarding your article on the collision of a kart racer and a deer at Summit Point, the article states, "Bill Scott said it was the second collision that he knew of between a deer and a vehicle at speed on the racetrack in the last 25 years. The other collision, according to Scott, was between a deer and a Porsche."
I just thought you should know there was another incident that happened earlier this year at a NESBA trackday on the smaller Summit Point JC circuit. NESBA control rider Arnie Hastings struck a deer on the back straight while riding his SV1000. Fortunately he was not seriously injured in the incident.
I also remember that during a F-USA round last year (it may have been two years ago) that Bryan Bemisderfer literally had to duck under a deer in the turn 3-4 area. I did not witness the incident so I cannot confirm that it is true.
WERA Novice #92
West Chester, Pennsylvania
My buddies boss races those carts and was right behind the guy when he hit the deer. He was coming around on turn 10 into the straight away...by far the fastest turn on that track. And the deer were crossing the track and he hit one square in the rib cage. His head snapped back and then forward, killing him instantly. His cart just dwindled off the side of the track. Those carts have a top speed of like 140-150....so my guess is he was doing atleast 100 through that corner.
There is definitely a problem with deer on that track. They warn you before track events begin to watch out deer. I think a big part of it is they jus built another track clearing a good portion of woods out. That and the deer population is rediculous in VA.