The dirt car racing community is mourning the loss of a North Texas teenager who died in an accident over the weekend.
Mini-sprint car driver Caleb Couch was racing at Superbowl Speedway in Greenville when he had an accident Saturday night.
His father, Brandon Couch, a coach at Braswell High School, later wrote on Twitter that Caleb’s car was “engulfed in flames and they couldn't get him out,” and that he was “in the burn ICU with 3rd-degree burns on 60% of his body."
Caleb later died.
“It hit so close to home,” said Glen Hibbard, a longtime dirt car racer.
Hibbard said the tragedy drives home just how dangerous the sport can be.
“Soon as I heard about it, it broke my heart. I hate it for the family, I hate it for anybody that knew him, that was friends with him, and I hate it for our sport,” Hibbard said.
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Since the accident, condolences for Caleb have poured in from across the country.
Many are pledging to do everything it takes to avoid a similar tragedy.
Hibbard, and some race organizers tell us, they're now re-evaluating safety measures.
For Hibbard, it means installing fire suppression systems on his cars.
“I don't have them on my cars, but I bet they will be on there,” he said. “I don't want to rely 100% on somebody else to put me out. I want to at least have a fighting chance.”
Hibbard has started an online fundraiser for the Couch family.
Caleb Couch was 17 years old and set to be a senior year at Wylie East High School.
The Superbowl Speedway says it has canceled races this weekend out of respect for the Couch family.