Initial reports indicate that the 42-year-old Bothell man overshot the Evergreen Speedway track while on a bike new to him, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

Share story

Update, Tuesday Sept. 6, 2016: Motorcycle racer died “doing what he loved,” his father said Tuesday. Go here for updates.

Original story, posted Sept. 5: A 42-year-old motorcycle racer at The Evergreen State Fair was killed Monday when he crashed into a bus next to the Monroe track.

Initial reports indicate the motorcycle was new to the rider and that he overshot the track during the drag race at Evergreen Speedway, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating. The crash occurred about noon, with some 150 people in the crowd.

The driver, a Bothell man, was wearing a helmet and was believed to be traveling at 97 mph when he struck the school bus, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The man’s name was not immediately released.

“The bus was one of several parked at the track for other speedway events, including a figure 8 demolition derby the night before,” according to the news release, which also said no one was aboard the bus at the time of the crash.

The crash occurred at the annual Monday Drag Racing event during the fair, according to Doug Hobbs, president of Evergreen Speedway.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the racer’s family,” Hobbs said in a statement. “There is an ongoing investigation, and we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Hal Gausman, the fair and fairgrounds manager, was at the event. He said it appeared the rider “didn’t follow the curve of the track and instead went straight,” and into the bus.

It’s not unusual for buses, or other objects, to be by the tracks, Gausman said.

“In a facility like that, they kind of will have stuff pretty much all over the place,” he said, “Unfortunately, in this situation, if there wasn’t a bus, there would’ve been something else. It was just a bad deal, no matter what.”

The rest of the day’s races, scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., were canceled, organizers said. All spectators were cleared from the stands.

Evergreen Speedway was the site of another fatal crash in 2006.

In April 2006, a 41-year-old Seattle man died after the sprint car he was driving slammed into a wall during an evening practice session.

Rory Price, of Seattle, a veteran of the Puget Sound race circuit, was test-driving the car as a favor to the car’s owner. He was taken to a Monroe hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.

Price’s death, at the time, was the first since 1988 and appeared to be just the second since the track’s founding in the 1950s.