Boy in fatal ATV accident named, was son of NASCAR pit crew member
SALISBURY - The 7-year-old boy who died on Thanksgiving in a tragic ATV accident has been identified as the son of a NASCAR pit crew member.
The sheriff's office has not released the boy's name, but several sources and media reports say he was Bryce Rueger, son of Andy Rueger of Salisbury.
The father worked as the gas man for Ryan Newman's Sprint Cup Series team in 2012 and will begin working for Kurt Busch's team in 2013.
The accident happened Thursday afternoon at 1735 Country Hill Drive, off Sherrills Ford Road in western Rowan County.
According to Rowan County Sheriff's Office detectives, a witness told them the 7-year-old was driving the Arctic Cat 550 all terrain vehicle and attempting a turn at high speeds when it flipped.
The witness said Bryce was riding the four-wheeler with an 11-year-old boy, who was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center with unknown injuiries.
A Thursday post on Newman's fan club website reads, "Andy Rueger, the 39 team's gentle giant of a gas man, lost his 8-year-old son today in a tragic accident. There are no words."
Several people also offered condolences to the team and to the Rueger family on Newman's official Facebook page.
The race car driver himself posted on Twitter (@RyanNewman39) on Thursday, saying, "Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving with family and friends. Ours was bittersweet- praying for the Rueger family!"
Newman is working on setting up a memorial fund, WSOC-TV reported.
According to an obituary listed with Cavin Cook Funeral Home in Mooresville, Bryce was an active child who loved playing baseball with his travel team, Carolina Havoc. The son of Andrew and Julie Rueger, he attended school at Rocky River Elementary School in Mooresville.
Visitation for family and friends will be at Cavin Cook Funeral Home today, Nov. 25, from 4 to 7 p.m. Another visitation and a funeral service will be held Wednesday at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Seymour, Ind.