The accident occurred on Interstate 64 in Evansville, Indiana, while team tuner Garry Baehler was hauling the team’s equipment to the AMA GNC round at KC Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio. The truck reportedly sideswiped another big rig parked on the side of the road and then burst into flames. Baehler, who was traveling with his 15-year-old son, Cole, and a friend of Cole’s, was able to extricate both youths from the burning vehicle. All three were transported by ambulance to Deaconess Memorial Hospital in Evansville, where Cole Baehler later died due to head injuries sustained in the crash. High winds may have been a factor in the accident, which is still under investigation.
Also consumed in the fire were the team’s two Honda CRF-based flat trackers, a Rotax flat tracker, and a Custom Chrome chopper used by the team for promotional purposes. Gary Rogers, who rides for the team owned by his father, Craig, said that while the team is down, it refuses to be knocked out.
“Obviously right now our number one concern is in helping Garry Baehler get through this,” Rogers said. “That’s what’s most important to us. And we will rebuild. We’re going to be all right. It seems that whenever we have started feeling good, something always seems to happen. But you can’t keep us down. We’ll be back.”
Cards and letters can be sent to Baehler at the following address:
11325 E. 20th St.
Tulsa, OK 74128