13-Year-Old Motorcyclist Killed in Indy Crash

13-yo motorcycle racer critically injured at indy speedway
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A 13-year-old motorcyclist was killed after crashing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this morning.

Peter Lenz crashed his No. 45 bike during the warm-up lap ahead of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, a 250cc race, and was run over by 12-year-old Xavier Zayat, another rider who was not injured in the accident, according to Stewart Aitken-Cade, chief steward of the U.S. Grand Prix Racers Union.

Lenz, of Vancouver, Wash., was rushed to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with "traumatic injuries" after the incident, according to a statement from the USGPRU.

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Medical workers placed Lenz in a neck brace, put him on a stretcher and appeared to be doing chest compressions, according to The Associated Press.

He was pronounced dead several hours later by the Marion County coroner.

"We would like to thank Peter's friends and supporters for all their help throughout the years," the Lenz family said in an official statement today. "We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss, but know that Peter is racing even faster in the sky. Our thoughts and prayers are now with the other racer and his family, who were also involved in this tragedy."

"USGPRU officials send their deepest sympathies and condolences to the Lenz family," said Aitken-Cade, in the organization's official statement on the incident.

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The USGPRU was established in 2002 and is designed to prepare younger riders for the experience of two-wheel racing at higher levels.

Today's accident marks the the first at the Indianapolis speedway since IndyCar driver Tony Renna was killed in October 2003. Lenz is the youngest rider to be killed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Lenz, who began racing at 5-years old, according to the bio on his website, peterlenz.com, was a rising star in the scene and earned four race wins and five podiums in 12 races in 2010 and had nine national championships and nine regional titles to his name.

He was sidelined when he was 11 years old after sustaining injuries relating to a mechanical failure, and had just returned to racing this year.

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Lenz's father posted the following message on Peter's Facebook page: "Peter passed away early this morning when he was apparently struck by another rider. He passed doing what he loved and had his go fast face on as he pulled onto the track. The world lost one of its brightest lights today. God Bless Peter and the other rider involved. #45 is on another road we can only hope to reach. Miss you kiddo. – Dad."

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