Racing Community Mourns Driver Killed in Crash - NBC Connecticut

Racing Community Mourns Driver Killed in Crash



    Racing Community Mourns Driver Killed in Crash
    Christine Matthews
    A snapshot of one of the races at the Lime Rock racetrack on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.

    The racing community remains in shock after a 73-year-old driver was killed at the track in Lime Rock Park.

    "There's no words," said Rick Roso, PR and Editorial Director for Lime Rock Park. "What do you say to the family or wife or husband of someone who dies in a racing accident?"

    It's a tragedy that's hit close to home for many racers and fans at the Lime Rock Park Historic Festival in Salisbury. Shortly after two Saturday afternoon park officials say Lee Duran was driving his 1934 MG PA race car when it left the track and he lost control.

    "I could see the car on its side at the exit of turn seven. That's the last corner of the race track," said Roso.

    "To see it happen and to see him on the track was really frightening because we know that it could happen to us," said racer Leonard McCue.

    Duran was taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

    Witnesses tell us they saw the vehicle roll several times, and state police say no other cars were involved. It's the first fatality in the festival's 32 years and has left many drivers shaken.

    "It's a terrible tragedy for the family. We all feel really badly for him. He's my age. I feel terrible," said McCue.

    We're told Duran was a prominent architect, well-known, and very involved in the Town of Lyme's community. Roso says he spoke with the victim's wife at the hospital.

    "Even in utter sorrow she told me how much he loved racing, how much he loved this car," said Roso.

    As fellow drivers and fans get ready for another day of vintage car racing Monday they say they know the risks they take entering track and that their thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family.

    "It's a sad thing, and all we can do is feel for the family," said Roso.

    Roso says Duran leaves behind his wife of nearly 52 years.

    Roso tells us there are safety requirements for all vehicles that race including roll cages, safety belts, and helmets.

    Connecticut State Police continue their investigation into the crash.