Polk man dies at motorcycle race track

Published 1:16 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The incident occurred around 4 p.m. at the racetrack. Boiling Springs EMS, the Shanghai Volunteer Fire Department and the Boilings Springs Rural Fire Department responded to the call, according to Cleveland County Communications.

A spectator with some medical training, Odessa Black, was the first to attend to Newman after the wreck and attended to Newman until emergency personnel arrived.

Within hours of the wreck, the Shadyside dragway&squo;s message board lit up with messages about Newman.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

&dquo;Vance has been riding bikes for many years,&dquo; said one message. &dquo;He was always one of the safest drivers I know. He had on a helmet, gloves, jacket and boots. Sometimes all the experience in the world is just not enough.&dquo;

Another message, posted by someone identifying himself as Newman&squo;s uncle, thanked all those who had posted messages for their prayers and said he will miss Newman badly.

&dquo;I got to work with him last week and all he could talk about was his love and complete passion for racing, that&squo;s what made Vance who he really was,&dquo; said the message. &dquo;He loved to race even as a child and he left us all doing what he loved to do. Thank you all for your kind words.&dquo;

Another message said Newman died in the helicopter on the way to Charlotte Hospital.

&dquo;Vance was a great person, someone I aspire to be more like. He had friends everywhere and would do anything for any one of them. He was the most selfless person I have ever met. He loved life and didn&squo;t let the little things in life get him down, but rather just enjoyed himself and the company of others,&dquo; said the message. &dquo;It is true, Vance died doing what he enjoyed doing ‐ if we could all be so lucky. Please continue to pray for his family and friends.&dquo;

Newman had been racing motorcycles since he was a teenager. He had many trophies from the many races he had won.

Newman attended Polk&bsp; County Schools until 1996 and graduated from Boyce Christian Academy in Sunny View in 1996. He received a two-year degree from Spartanburg Technical College in 1998. He worked for Upstate Heating and Air and was a member of Peniel Baptist Church.

He is survived by his father and step-mother Roger and Joanie Newman of Tryon and mother and stepfather Carolyn and Garry Bradley of Mill Spring. Also surviving is a brother, Kevin Brown, a sister, Paula Campbell, and nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends today from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Petty Funeral Home in Landrum. The funeral will be held tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Peniel Baptist Church with burial in the church cemetery.