RIPLEY, Ohio — Motocross racer Walker Brightwell was nearly ready to realize his longtime dream: A track where he could share his love of off-road motorcycle racing with others. Scott Plessinger, a friend and fellow track owner, estimated it might have been a matter of days until completion.
He’ll never see it finished. Brightwell, 25, was run over by a bulldozer at 1:30 Friday afternoon, surviving for two hours before his death at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Plessinger found out later that day. He said Brightwell had been driving the bulldozer on the track when he stepped out of it and the vehicle rolled over him.
“He was always so nice,” Plessinger said of Brightwell, who raced alongside him as a teenager and remained a friend into adulthood. “Super nice parents. (He had) a big passion for Motocross and wanted to carry it on.”
He had hoped specifically to teach children how to race, Plessinger said.
“Just started it last year,” he said. “That’s why I feel so bad for them. He put so much time and effort into the track.”
A group of more than 100 fellow riders took a memorial lap in Brightwell’s memory Saturday. Plessinger said he remains hopeful Brightwell’s track will be completed.