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Drag Racer Killed in Crash

June 5, 2000

GRAND BEND, Ontario (AP) _ An Ohio man was killed during a drag race exhibition when the parachutes that stop his jet dragster failed to open.

Jack Dustman, 41, of Malvern, Ohio, was entertaining a crowd of about 8,000 with a solo performance Sunday that reached a speed of 198.85 mph when his vehicle rolled several times before crashing into trees.

The exhibition was being held between final races of the MoparParts Canadian Nationals at the Grand Bend Motorplex.

Dustman’s dragster drove off the end of the nearly 3/4-mile drag strip and rolled several times in a sand pit before hitting some trees, said a spokesperson with the International Hot Rod Association, which staged the three-day event, held about 38 miles west of London.

``The last couple hundred feet (Dustman) had the brakes on,″ Bill Bader, owner of the International Hot Rod Association, headquartered in Norwalk, Ohio, said Sunday.

``There are black marks on the track, then more black marks, which indicates he was pumping the brakes. But you need a chute at that speed.″

Dustman was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Paul Spriet, one of the owners and managing partners of Grand Bend Motorplex, said the crash happened at about 4:30 p.m. _ about two hours before the races ended _ and it wasn’t until later officials were notified Dustman had died.

``Our program was completed by the time the information got back to us from the hospital,″ Spriet said. ``Unfortunately, it’s a tragedy that does happen in racing.″

Spriet said Dustman had put on a similar exhibition performance without incident between races on Saturday.

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