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DATE News (chronologically)
11/12/11
racing news
3rd racer dies after second crash at Key West UPDATE A third offshore powerboat racer has died after racing at the Key West World Championship.

Roderick Cox, a spokesman for Super Boat International, confirmed Saturday that Joey Gratton, of Sarasota, Florida, died at Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

He and teammate Stephen Page, the owners and driver of Page Motorsports, rolled over during the final lap of Friday's race.

Officials said Page, of Fort Myers, Florida, was admitted to Lower Keys Medical Center in good condition. Page has since been released from the hospital.

The accident followed a crash on the first day of racing that killed Robert M. Morgan of Sunrise Beach, Mo., and Jeffrey Tillman of Kaiser, Mo. They were the throttleman and driver, respectively, for Big Thunder Marine.

A memorial for Gratton is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.



11/12/11 An offshore powerboat racer was critically injured Friday during an accident at the Key West World Championship, where two racers were killed in a boating crash on Wednesday.

Super Boat International officials said Friday night that racer Joey Gratton of University Park, Fla., was being airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.

His racing partner Stephen Page, the owner and driver of Page Motorsports, was admitted to Lower Keys Medical Center. Racing officials said he was in good condition. zzzz

The 38-foot Superboat 850-class Skater catamaran rolled over twice at checkpoint 1 of the 6-1/2-mile course, on the final lap of the seven-lap race.

"It was the classic rollover type of accident; something we've seen before at turns," said John Carbonell, president of Super Boat International, the event's sanctioning body. "We're investigating the accident, but preliminarily it appears they may have gone into the turn a bit too fast."  Rollover deaths were almost always a certainty in power boat racing until they added canopies over the drivers and made them wear HANS Devices.

The accident followed a crash on the first day of racing that killed Robert M. Morgan of Sunrise Beach, Mo., and Jeffrey Tillman of Kaiser, Mo. They were the throttleman and driver, respectively, for Big Thunder Marine. Fox Sports

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