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Teen Motorcycle Rider (Age 13) Dies in Indianapolis, Indiana Race – Dangers of Competitive and Every Day Motor Bike Riding to Children

By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network


A 13-year-old boy, Peter Lenz of Vancouver, Washington, died after a motorcycle crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Peter was reportedly run over by another motorcycle driver after he fell from his motorbike during a warm-up lap. The driver of the other motorcycle was identified as 12-year-old Xavier Zayat of Flushing, New York and reportedly did not sustain any personal injuries. Peter was immediately placed in a neck brace and onto a stretcher by medical workers who also performed chest compression on him until he arrived at the hospital. Peter was pronounced dead several hours later.

Peter is the youngest driver or rider ever killed at the 101-year-old speedway, which allows teens to drive vehicles that can top speeds of 120 mph. This teenager’s tragic fatality will almost certainly spark a debate amongst the public about how young is too young for racers to be competing on nationally known speedways. Racers insist that age is not the issue, but are new rules needed? Those in the racing circle disagree and compare it to other dangerous sports such as football and gymnastics. The U.S. Gran Prix Racers Union stated this was their first fatality in the series in 9 years. Others say a fatality is an ugly, terrible part of the sport but it is still a consequence most are willing accept. If you would like to read more on this story please see Teenage boy dies in motorcycle crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Peter’s death is a tragedy for his family and his community. Condolences are also sent to the family of the driver involved in this terrible accident. Adults and parents need to counsel children on the dangers of motorcycles. These machines are capable of reaching fast speeds and do not provide the same protection like that of an automobile (safety belts, body is not as exposed, etc.). However, if your child chooses to engage in motorcycle racing, parents and adults need to take the proper safety precautions. The child should always wear approved safety gear from head to toe. Also, be aware of weather conditions before driving and teach your children to drive and/or ride responsibly.

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