Two friends died in a crash last Sunday, Sept. 10, while driving a Dodge Challenger Hellcat on the runway of Central Colorado Regional Airport in Buena Vista. Roger Lichtenberger, 76, and Lynd Fitzgerald, 71, were legally “speed-testing” the 707 HP ’16 Hellcat at over 100 miles per hour when they reached the end of the mile-and-a-half runway, continued for 314 feet, then flew over a ravine and flipped completely around over a second ravine before coming to rest 650 feet from the asphalt’s end, with both men inside dead.
Police arrived quickly at the scene, but it was already too late to help the two speed enthusiasts.
“They were just test-driving this car. They went a little too fast. I don’t want to surmise. … They probably got to the end of the runway and, at that speed, didn’t realize they were there so fast. And they lost control. It was just too high a speed and they got to the end of the runway,” said Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze.
It’s unusual for a tragedy like this to occur in circumstances where all legalities have been observed. Based on the skid marks found at the scene, it’s likely that Fitzgerald, the driver, just waited a second too long before hitting the brakes.
We here at RacingJunk send our condolences to the friends and relatives of the two men, and hope this atypical crash remains a rare example of its type.