Second racer in AMA Pro Flat Track circuit at Sonoma County Fairgrounds dies
A teen motorcycle racer injured Sunday in a crash at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds died of his injuries late Monday, just a day after another racer died in a separate Fairgrounds crash.
Officials with AMA Pro Racing confirmed the death of Kyle McGrane, 17, of Gap, Pennsylvania during the Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile AMA Pro Flat Track Motorcycle Race.
Michael Lock, the CEO of AMA Pro Racing, said in an interview Monday night that McGrane crashed coming out of the fourth turn of the final lap of his afternoon race. McGrane had been taken immediately to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where he died Monday.
Monday, Sonoma County Sheriff’s officials confirmed Charlotte Kainz, 20, of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, died while participating in the series.
“I don’t know of this happening in the living memory of our sport,” said Michael Lock of AMA, referencing the two deaths. “We’re all in complete shock.”
He said McGrane had been participating in AMA Pro Racing since 2015 and had “a growing fan base” across the country.
Both McGrane and Kainz raced in what Lock called AMA’s junior division.
Kainz crashed on the second turn of her heat, said Becky Bartling, chief executive officer of the Sonoma County Fair. The extent of the other rider’s injuries was not clear Monday.
Emergency dispatchers were notified of the crash at 12:18 p.m. Kainz was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where she died, coroner’s officials said.
Lock said McGrane’s crash occurred in a later race that was scheduled to begin before 2 p.m.
Bartling said she planned to sit down with the Santa Rosa Mile promoter to review the event’s communication and whether any aspect of the response could be improved. But she said the response from the on-site ambulances and emergency crew was immediate and worked as intended.
Both racers’ deaths elicited an outpouring of support online. A campaign page titled “Helping Kainz” established on the fundraising website GoFundMe had raised $13,728 by early Monday evening, with 182 people donating in just nine hours. The page listed a goal of $15,000.
Various funds for McGrane were started on Facebook and GoFundMe to help not only with medical expenses but for his family’s travel. The page listed a goal of $10,000.
Part of the request for donations read “He was looking great out there until he wrecked his bike.”
Kainz’s own public social media posts indicated her mother died earlier this year and she recently celebrated her 20th birthday.
Michael Braxton, owner of Impact Safe-T Armor in the Sacramento area, said he knew Kainz for a little more than a year and had provided some of her protective gear. He said she was a “firecracker.”
“It really hits me hard, because she was on the ascendancy,” Braxton said of Kainz’s death. “She really hit her stride. She loved what she was doing and was doing it well.”
Staff Writer Julie Johnson contributed to this story. You can reach Staff Writer J.D. Morris at 707-521-5337 or email@example.com. On Twitter @thejdmorris.