Motorcyclist Bill Warner was killed after crashing his turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa at a timed-speed event in northern Maine. Warner, 44, was attempting to reach a speed of 300 miles per hour when he lost control and veered off the runway.
While reports indicate that the Wimauma, Fla., native was clocked at 285 mph before he lost control, it’s still unclear how fast the motorcycle was traveling when it veered off the paved runway and crashed.
Warner was reportedly still conscious and talking after the crash but died about an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou.
"No one will touch Bill's achievements or be the type of racer he was. He was a personal friend, and the land-racing community is less for his loss," Tim Kelly, race director for the Loring Timing Association, which hosted "The Maine Event" at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, told the Associated Press.
Warner currently holds the world land-speed record for a conventional motorcycle after having hit 311 mph on the same course in 2011, using 1.5 miles of pavement. This time he was trying to hit 300 mph using just a mile of pavement. He had made several passes before the one in which he crashed.
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The Maine Event is an annual timed-speed event that utilizes the 14,200-foot-long runway at the former Strategic Air Command base, which closed in 1994. On Sunday, approximately 400 spectators were on hand as Warner crashed to his death.
The remainder of Sunday's event was canceled. The Limestone Police Department and Maine State Police were investigating the crash.
Bill Warner Crash Video