Pro Racer Killed In Tulsa Motorcycle Wreck A Shock To Family, Friends
TULSA, Oklahoma - Family and friends are trying to understand how a professional motorcycle racer at the top of his sport was killed in an accident.
Dane Westby had just left his parents house Monday night from just having dinner when he crashed his motorcycle on Peoria, just north of Cherry Street.
Those who loved Westby, like his longtime friend Dustin Meador, didn't waste any time hanging a cross on the utility pole he hit, in his memory.
“I think he was really fixing to shine and prove his talent,” Meador said.
When Westby wasn't standing on two feet, it almost guaranteed he was riding on two wheels.
“He was a bicycle nut, he bicycles all the time. If you see Dane he's either on a bicycle or a motorcycle,” Meador said.
Meador said he wasn't just Westby's former racing partner and friend, he said they were family.
“We're not related, but I would consider him as close as a brother,” he said.
They grew up hanging out together at Kinetic Playground. Their parents were business partners at the motorcycle repair shop, a shop where Westby's first race bike is waiting for a tune-up.
“This is where he started, right here. This motorcycle is where Dane Westby started,” said Meador.
Westby was a world-class road racer, known as The Wolverine. He'd won championships, raced the Daytona 200 and even had his share of wrecks.
That's the hardest part for Meador, knowing such a skilled rider died in a crash with a utility pole in midtown Tulsa.
3/24/2015 Related Story: Pro Racer Dane Westby Killed In Tulsa Motorcycle Wreck
“We ride so fast on the track and we crash at over 100 miles an hour and we get up, often unscathed. For him to lose his life on the street, it's just hard to comprehend,” Meador said.
Westby was adventurous, free-spirited, supportive, smart, full of life, and in an interview with his sponsor, Yamalube, he was loving the life he lived.
“There's such a short time in my life where I'll get to be ‘that guy.' I get to stand up on the podium and everybody's looking at him and I'm pouring the champagne on the trophy. It's something I'll never forget,” he said.
Westby is a friend that his family - on and off the track - will never forget.
“I feel proud to have worked with Dane Westby. He's truly a top-notch professional,” Meador said.
Police said they don't know yet what caused the crash, but said they don't believe another vehicle was involved.
Westby's friend went to the spot to see for himself and said, based off the skid marks, he thinks Westby hit his brakes to try and avoid something in the street.
Police said Westby was wearing a helmet and friends said he was also wearing full protective gear.