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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Young racer dies after falling from bike

Willie McCormick
 (The Spokesman-Review)

Willie McCormick had done so well racing motorcycles this year that all he had to do to claim a first-place trophy on Sunday was show up.

The 10-year-old from Mead, who earned more than 100 trophies during a six-year racing career, died Saturday after he fell from his motorcycle at the Spokane Off-Road Vehicle Park near Airway Heights.

On Sunday, his family will be presented with the trophy he earned when participating in the first five of six events in a beginner series of races at the Fossil Bowl in Clarkia, Idaho. He was leading by so many points that no one could have beaten him had he participated in the last race, said Kenneth Kienbaum, manager of the bowl.

McCormick, who went by Superfly as a racer, had wanted to race motorcycles since he was 2, when he asked his parents for a “momo,” said his father, Bob McCormick.

They relented a couple years later, and at the age of 39 Bob McCormick followed his son into the sport. They’ve been racing buddies ever since.

“He was my best friend,” McCormick said. “For such a little guy, he had such a big heart.”

Willie, a fifth-grader at Meadow Ridge Elementary, was finishing up the last race of the day at the ORV Park’s Extreme Motorsport Motocross Track when he fell from the bike.

He was taken from the park by helicopter and died on his way to Sacred Heart Medical Center, said Dawn Bristlin, a close family friend whose son also races. Bristlin said a cause of death has not been determined.

“His life might have been short on earth, but that boy definitely lived life to the fullest,” Bristlin said.

Before races begin Sunday at the Fossil Bowl, there will be a “fallen rider” lap in which family members and riders will honor Willie.

A similar lap was made at the Extreme Motorsport track before races Sunday. Riders raised their helmets in a moment of silence and released balloons in his honor, Bristlin said. The McCormicks told race organizers that Willie would not want races canceled.

“I asked my son Saturday night if he would want to stop,” Bristlin said. “He said, ‘I race for Willie now.’ “