Nothing new has been released in 5 months since two speed bikers were killed in a Team Hammer event at DIS

Double fatality biker crash at Daytona International Speedway / Headline SurferMotorcycle racer Rick Shaw killed at Daytona International Speedway / Headline SurferPhotos for Headline Surfer® /
Veteran AMA racer Rick Shaw, 65, shown here, was killed as was another motorcyclist, Eric Desy, 45, after their speed bikes collided during a Team Hammer School racing event Oct. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. 
 

DAYTONA BEACH -- Bike Week is here and despite the ongoing construction with the $400 million "Daytona Rising" modernization project, there are plenty of activities for biker enthusiasts, from motocross races to demo rides and trade shows.

But in the five months since the smaller motorcycle rally known as "Biketoberfest," there has been no updated information released as to what caused two experienced speed bike racers bikers to collide at high speeds coming off a high bank at Daytona International Speedway during a private racing school session. Both riders were killed.

But in the five months since the smaller motorcycle rally known as "Biketoberfest," there has been no updated information released as to what caused two experienced speed bike racers bikers to collide at high speeds coming off a high bank at Daytona International Speedway during a private racing school session. Both riders were killed.

Team Hammer event at Daytona Int'l Speedway in 2013 saw 2 speed racers killed / Headline Surfer®The double fatality occurred on the very first day of the four-day weekend Biketoberfest, but media outlets weren't told of the siitation until a day-and-a-half later -- mid-afternoon Saturday.

Neither Daytona Beach cops nor Speedway officials explained why they waited so long to release information to the media on the deaths. And Headline Surfer® had to go through DIS spokesman Lenny Santiago to even release the police report, which was finally e-mailed at 3:53 p.m., after repeated attempts by the 24/7 internet newspaper to get even basic information from the DBPD.

According to the police report, at 11 a.m., that Thursday, both riders were in a pack under Team Hammer, which rented the 3.51-mile road course from DIS for the riding school, when the two victims collided coming off the East banking "at a high rate of speed." 

Killed were veteran Daytona 200 racer Rick Shaw, 65, of Port Orange, an instructor for Team Hammer, and student Eric Desy, 45, of Quebec.

The police report didn't indicate exactly how many bikes were on the track at the time nor did it indicate what caused the contact between the two. Even to this day, no new information has been released.

The police report didn't indicate exactly how many bikes were on the track at the time nor did it indicate what caused the contact between the two. Even to this day, no new information has been released.

Headline Surfer® asked Santiago about the situation when the deaths were initially reported to the media by the Speedway. Santiago said Team Hammer's event was a private affair and that it was up to its owners as to whether they wanted to release any information.

Attempts by Headline Surfer® to reach Team Hammer officials have been unsuccessful.

Shaw, a retired Miami police officer, who moved up here in 2005 after his retirement from law enforcement, had competed in several Daytona 200 motorcycle races at the Speedway.

At one point, he held the record for the most laps completed in the annual race held during Bike Week, the larger of the two Daytona Beach-area motorcycle rallies in the Spring that draws upwards of half a million tourists.

Desy was pronounced dead shortly after transport to Halifax Health Medical Center and Shaw died at 7:06 that night from injuries suffered in the wreck.

The Speedway's Santiago emailed Headline a statement on the tragedy once the news finally got out, stating: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the riders and their families, and we are deeply saddened by their loss. Rick Shaw in particular had a long history of racing at Daytona, and for several years held the record for most miles raced in the Daytona 200. He was loved by many in the motorcycle community and we will miss him greatly."

The DIS statement also reiterated the "safety of fans and competitors is always our top priority and we work closely with event officials to ensure the best safety protocols are in place and followed. Team Hammer Advanced Riding School has an outstanding track record of safety at Daytona International Speedway, hosting thousands of riders since the early 1990s. Whenever an unfortunate incident does occur at our facility, we take the opportunity to learn and refine any event procedures."

A statement from John Ulrich of Team Hammer Advanced Riding School also was released to the media by DIS, in which he said: "Everyone at Team Hammer Advanced Riding School is saddened following the tragic loss of student Eric Desy and long-time instructor and former professional racer Rick Shaw at Daytona International Speedway.

The statement continued, "Rider safety is at the very forefront of all we do and our track record at Daytona speaks for itself. Over the last two decades more than 5,000 students have gone through our advanced riding school program at the Speedway, without major incident."

YouTube upload /
A speed biker rider takes laps around the high banks of DaytonaUInternationalSpeedway for Team Hammer onOct. 17, 2013, before two other riders were killed after colliding with each other while riding at high speeds in a pack.
 

The issue of safety was addressed as well by Team Hammer's Ulrich: "We are fully committed to providing a safe, thrilling and unforgettable riding school for our students and will carefully review our processes and procedures closely to see if there is anything we can improve in the future."

Cycle World, in reporting on the double fatality, said a representative with the Team Hammer school said riders typically reach speeds of anywhere between 100 and 150 mph.

The motorcycle racing magazine said Shaw competed in AMA road race Nationals for nearly 30 years. And he was perhaps best known for breaking Warren Sherwood’s longstanding Daytona 200 mileage record in 2003. He also held the record number of starts and laps completed in the 200.

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Team Hammer double fatal from  Biketoberfest trending online / Headline Sufer®

Editor's Note: Lenny Santiago, senior spokesman for Daytona International Speedway gave a quote immediately after the the reporting of two motorcyclists were killed on the track during Biketoberfest and not as originally reported in this story as quoting him at the end of Speedweeks, which was a mix up in special events. The error has been corrected and updated. 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.