Off-road racing champion Ruck Huseman was among three people killed Sunday in a small plane crash near Barstow. Huseman’s brother and a friend also died in the accident.
• On Sunday — the same day that Indy 500 champ Dan Wheldon was killed in a 15-car pileup in Las Vegas — off-road champ Rick Huseman was killed when his plane crashed returning home from Las Vegas.
• The pilot reported an emergency and tried to land the small Beech 33 Bonanza plane at an airport in Barstow, but it crashed about 5 miles away.
• Huseman, his brother, and the pilot died at the scene.
The Beech 33 Bonanza airplane went down at about 1:45 p.m., according to an ABC News report.
Authorites said the 38-year-old racing champion was returning home to Riverside from the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas. His brother, 26-year-old Jeffrey Huseman, and their friend, 35-year-old Daniel Hicks were also on the plane, San Bernardino County Deputy Coroner Investigator Teri Lay said. All three men were Riverside residents.
It was not clear who was piloting the aircraft, Lay said, but a message from Toyota’s National Motorsports Manager Les Unger, posted on Huseman’s website, seemed to indicate thet Hicks was flying the plane:
“The entire Toyota Motorsports and TRD family wish to express our condolences to the family of Rick Huseman in view of Sunday’s tragic event that claimed the lives of Rick, his brother, and the plane’s pilot.”
The message went on to say, “Rick was an enthusiastic and extremely talented member of Toyota’s off-road racing program. He was a true champion both on and off the track.”
The plane had been flying from North Las Vegas to Corona, California, when the pilot declared an emergency, according to an Associated Press report. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the pilot was attempting to make an emergency landing at Barstow-Daggett Airport when the aircraft went down in unincorporated Newberry Springs, about 5 miles from the airport.
The California Highway Patrol received a call reporting the plane crash. About 45 minutes later, emergency crews found the wreckage of a small plane about a half- mile south of Lake Dolores. Kenitzer said the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.
Huseman’s death was a blow to the motor sports world, especially combined with the death of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon in a fiery 15-car pileup at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on the same day.
Huseman racked up 44 victories in more than a decade of off-racing racing, according to his Toyota biography. He was awarded the prestegious 2010 Dirt Sports Magazine’s Driver of the Year.
Barstow Small Plane Crash Lawyers
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