Motocross legend, wife dead after freak crash
Legendary pro racer Marty Smith and his wife, Nancy, were both killed in a freak dune buggy accident on Monday, according to reports.
Smith, a three-time AMA National Motocross champion, was 63.
Officials told TMZ Sports that Smith and his wife were in a buggy that flipped and rolled down a hill at the Imperial Sand Dunes in California. Smith was reportedly not wearing a safety harness and Nancy was wearing only a lap belt.
Emergency responders pronounced Smith dead at the scene while Nancy was flown to a nearby hospital where she later was pronounced dead. Smith's best friend, Lee Ramage, said he was at the scene of the crash and posted a statement to social media.
"It's with the heaviest, grieving heart that I have to tell you Marty and Nancy Smith were killed yesterday in a rollover accident in his dune buggy at the imperial sand dunes," Rampage wrote. "My wife, Tammi and I were in the buggy and were unhurt.
"We spent at least an hour trying to save their lives before first responders arrived. Marty took his last breath while I was holding his head, keeping his airway clear. Marty was my best friend and I tried everything in me to save him while Tammi tried to save Nancy."
So sad to hear of the passing of Marty Smith and his wife. One of my first racing idols, he was the epitome of Southern California motocross in the ‘70s. RIP, dude. pic.twitter.com/eJpqYiXIRz— XR1200 Tom (@XR1200) April 28, 2020
Smith turned pro in 1974 at the age of 17 and went on to win back-to-back AMA 125cc National Motocross Championships.
He won the 500cc championship in 1977 before retiring from professional racing in 1981. However, Smith remained active in the motocross community as a coach.
He was later inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame in 2000.
This article ws originally published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission
Originally published as Motocross legend, wife dead after freak crash