BAYFAIR MUNCEY CUP, SAN DIEGO, SEPT. 17

Posted Sept. 19, 2000
HYDROPLANE FATALITY -- Reports from Sunday's Unlimited Hydroplane accident on Mission Bay


near San Diego that killed Las Vegan George Stratton indicate the 44-year-old veteran racer likely died on impact when his 6,000-pound hydro hit the water after sailing as high as 50 feet into the air. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Monday that the boat was going about 150 mph when it flew into the air, twisted to the left and blew over backward, then crashed nose-first into the water. The newspaper also reported that the safety canopy, which covers the driver's compartment, apparently blew apart or collapsed on impact, causing the series' first driver fatality in 18 years. Dave Villwock in the Miss Budweiser won the championship heat. Stratton, who is survived by his wife and two children, had already clinched the 2000 Rookie of the Year title in unlimited hydroplane racing.

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