Craftsman Truck driver dies after crash

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Tony Roper has died from the injuries he sustained in a crash during Friday night's O'Reilly 400 at Texas Motor Speedway

Craftsman Truck driver dies after crash

"Mr. Roper sustained a severe neck injury which caused blood flow to the brain to stop," said John LaNoue, MD, the assistant professor of surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and attending trauma surgeon at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

"He was left without any brain function and died at 10:55 a.m."

Roper was involved in a crash with Steve Grissom on the 33rd lap of Friday night's race. Safety crews had to cut the roof off of Roper's truck in order to free the driver from the mangled wreck. The American was airlifted from the track to Parkland Hospital, where he was unconscious and unresponsive. He was unable to breathe without the assistance of a ventilator.

"We appreciate the show of support from the other drivers and teams who came here to be with us last night and this morning," said his father Dean Roper, a former ARCA and USAC driver. "We appreciate everybody who helped him along in racing and all the friends he has made as a result. He was a good little racer."

Roper, 35, was from Fair Grove, Missouri and leaves behind a wife, Michelle. The couple had no children. It is the first fatality in the four-year history of Texas Motor Speedway.

"We are all shaken by the death of Tony Roper," said speedway general manager Eddie Gossage. "I spoke with his father, Dean, last night at the hospital in an attempt to provide comfort. Instead, Mr. Roper provided comfort to me.

"This was a racing family and they are rightfully very proud of their son's accomplishments. We join our fans in offering prayerful support to Tony Roper's family."

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