Boger City, NC — Dick Trickle apparently called 911 to report his own suicide yesterday.
The NASCAR legend told the 911 operator the address of the emergency was a specific area of the Forest Lawn Cemetery (in North Carolina) and to look for a pickup truck.
Continued Trickle (listen to embed below): “There is going to be a dead body … a suicide … I’m the one.”
The 911 operator said she was sending help to him but sadly it was too late. The operator evidently also attempted to call him back, but nobody answered.
Trickle’s body was shortly thereafter discovered near his pickup truck in the cemetery. He died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Reportedly his granddaughter who died in a 2001 car accident is buried in that cemetery.
Tim Johnson of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has stated that foul play is not suspected. He added that a note was found by Dick Trickle’s body. Further information, such as the contents of the note, will not be disclosed. Johnson explained: “We’re trying to protect the family as much as possible, and they had just gotten notified right after it happened. We’re trying to respect their privacy.”
Trickle, 71, was a mainstay in the Sprint Cup series for over 20 years. He retired in 2002 after 303 Sprint Cup races. Trickle’s best year came in 1989 when he scored six top five finishes. He never won a NASCAR race, but came out on top twice in the Nationwide Series. He is considered the all-time winningest driver in short track history
NASCAR released a statement about Trickle’s apparent suicide, saying that its thoughts and prayers are with the former stock car driver’s family. The statement added: “Dick was a legend in the short-track community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite. Personalities like Dick Trickle helped shape our sport. He will be missed.”
May NASCAR drivers took to social media to mourn the death of Dick Trickle.
Charlotte Motor Speedway will observe a moment of silence tonight in his honor.
[top image via via Royalbroil]