Tragic news hits France family

Just over one month has passed for the France family since Bill France, Jr. passed away, ending his fight with cancer and now today the family is again facing another loss when Dr. Bruce Shawn Kennedy, husband to Lesa France Kennedy, was...

Just over one month has passed for the France family since Bill France, Jr. passed away, ending his fight with cancer and now today the family is again facing another loss when Dr. Bruce Shawn Kennedy, husband to Lesa France Kennedy, was tragically one of five killed in a plane crash around 8:40am this morning.

Per the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) official statement, Kennedy and Michael Alan Klemm were onboard a Cessna 310 that "crashed in a Sanford, Florida, area neighborhood."

Dr. Kennedy was a plastic surgeon from California who resided with his family in Daytona Beach and Klemm, also from Daytona Beach, was on staff with NASCAR aviation as a senior captain. Both died in the crash, along with two children and one adult from one of the homes that were hit by the Cessna and the flying debris, including the aviation fuel spillage. At this time, five had been confirmed dead and three survivors with severe burns have been confirmed.

It has been reported that Kennedy, the pilot, was trying to make an emergency landing at the nearby Orlando-Sanford International Airport after leaving Daytona on a path to Lakeland, FL. Kennedy had requested the emergency landing due to smoke in the cockpit of the twin-engine aircraft, he was within two miles of the airport when the crash occurred striking the homes.

"It is clear that numerous families were affected by this terrible tragedy and unfortunately several people were deceased or seriously injured. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with all of those who were involved in this tragic accident and their families. We will provide additional information as it becomes available," per the NASCAR statement.

The National Transportation Safety Board is launching an investigation into the crash.

Lesa France Kennedy, daughter to the late Bill France Jr, is the president of International Speedway Corporation (ISC) as well as being a board member of NASCAR Corporation. ISC was formed by Bill France, Sr. in 1953 to oversee the operations of Daytona International Speedway. In 1999, ISC merged with Roger Penske's owned race tracks and are a dominant force in motorsports. The company owns Daytona USA, MRN Radio and 13 race tracks.

Doug Fritz, president of Richmond International Raceway (ISC track) commented, "We are deeply saddened by today's unfortunate tragedy in Sanford, Florida that claimed the life of Dr. Bruce Kennedy, husband of International Speedway Corporation President Lesa France Kennedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy and France families, as well as the other families affected by this tragic accident."

Dr. Kennedy, 53, is survived by his survived by his wife Lesa and son Ben. Klemm, 56, is survived by his wife Wendy and sons Danny, Andy and Robbie.

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Series AUTOMOTIVE , GENERAL , NASCAR
Article type Obituary