2018 Isle of Man TT Bike Race Has Already Claimed Its First Death: Dan Kneen
The Isle of Man native lost control of his BMW racing bike while on a long, high-speed stretch of the track.
The Isle of Man TT race organizer, ACU Events, has confirmed that local rider Dan Kneen passed away after crashing during the early stages of qualifying on Wednesday. This marks the first fatality of the popular race, which has only seen four days of on-track action.
Kneen was one of the first riders to take onto the track on Wednesday and suffered the crash while on his very first lap of the day. It's unclear if any mechanical problems or obstacles may have caused him to lose control of his BMW motorcycle as he made his way through "Churchtown," an extremely fast section of the 37-mile street circuit.
The 30-year-old rider was pronounced dead at the scene and no other bystanders were hurt, although a large tree that was impacted by the motorcycle caught on fire and had to be put out by the local firefighters. It's not clear how fast he was traveling at the time of impact, but riders easily exceed 100 miles per hour on most portions of the island.
The Isle of Man native piloted a 1000cc Tyco BMW racing bike, which he planned on competing with during next week's racing festivities, as the first four days of the event are reserved for practice and qualifying sessions.
The Isle of Man TT is known as one of the deadliest motor races in the world, with nearly 260 deaths since its inception in 1907. That's an average of 2.2 deaths per year, or at least one death during each week of the event every year.