Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"Drive Safe, Dad"

"The passion for racing grew over the years we were together before the boys."
"When we first started dating we went to the track every race. We had our favourite spot in the stands. I'm going to go to the stands and I'm going to paint that spot his favourite colour, blue."
"We've been either spectators, passionate fans, involved at the track somehow, for it's got to be over 20 years."
"It's like anybody that has a passion for anything -- for music, for art, for painting, for photography. It's a passion."
"It's a passion for feeling that power pushing you through the corners. It's the family atmosphere. You might be rivals out on the track but you're not rivals in the pit."
"Everybody knows everybody. I have heard (Thursday) from everybody -- from oval racing to vintage drag racing to drifting clubs. Everybody knew Wes and the boys." 
"[On the night of the accident] I was standing there, watching that race. I lost sight of the car, by the time I saw it again, he was already gone."
 Debra O'Toole, former wife of Wesley Wallin
Wesley Wallin, victim in Capital Speedway crash
Wesley Wallin, 57, died after a crash at Capital City Speedway on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (Facebook)

"We watched the videos last night. Everything we can tell is that in between Corner 1 and 2 he had a heart attack."
"They say that he was actually picking up speed as he was coming across the grass."
"[Racing gets in the blood], like being addicted to crack. It's a combination of the people, the speed, the noise and the chance to work on cars."
 Todd Gow, president, Capital City Speedway Ottawa
Racer dies at Capital City Speedway

The couple has two sons, Jaime, 22, and Casey, 18. The boys, like their mother are race enthusiasts, and like their father, they are also racers. Wesley Wallin's birthday is in July, and his son Casey's birthday is within knocking distance, also in July. Debra O'Toole, former wife of her son's father, was planning something special to celebrate those birthdays: "...he and I for the last week had been planning the most amazing birthday party for the two of them, involving racing".

No one in the family will be feeling much like celebrating anything, come July. Wesley Wallin, 57, suffered a heart attack, driving in the last race of the evening on Wednesday night, at the Ashton racetrack. It was in fact, the opening race-date of the season. Todd Gow estimated that the speed of Mr. Wallin's vehicle clocked in at 55 to 65 kilometres an  hour, so it wasn't the impact of the vehicle hitting a concrete wall on the far side of the infield that killed him.

Witness accounts and video validate that Wesley Wallin collapsed at the wheel, before his vehicle went off the track. Leaving the track, the car crossed the infield, and hit a concrete wall on the far side. Police closed the race course to investigate the incident. At the scene, Mr. Wallin was administered two shocks with a defibrillator while en route to hospital. There was no pulse, and no discernible breathing.

Debra O'Toole said of her former husband, who was also her business partner, that he'd had double-bypass heart surgery about seven years ago. His health had been good since that time. "Our 22-year-old son's last words to his dad were, 'Drive safe, Dad'," she said.

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