The moto community is in mourning after a teen dirt bike rider was killed in a crash at a Mid-Michigan race track.
At about 4:28 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, a Tuscola County deputy learned that medical staff was performing CPR on a 15-year-old dirt bike rider at Baja Acres.
The 15-year-old from Cambridge, Illinois was involved in a crash during a sanctioned race at the track, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office said the rider, now identified as Ryder Schnowske, went down, becoming separated from his dirt bike.
Other riders behind him tried to avoid him but were unsuccessful.
Medical staff performed CPR on the scene and a medical helicopter was dispatched.
However, the rider died from his injuries.
His family was at the race when it happened and other family members were notified.
One of the witnesses of the tragedy said it hits him in a deeply personal way.
"Usually once they stop the race, it usually means something is really going on," said Mark Mabilangan, who was at the race.
The Mid-Michigan moto community is mourning the loss of Schnowske.
"We weren't sure the severity of it because people do crash, but we noticed that they stopped the race right away," Mabilangan said. "There were prayers off to the side that a lot of people joined in on."
Schnowske was one of many who came from all over the country to compete in the regional motor cross race, hoping to make it to Tennessee for the championships.
Although many did not know Schnowske personally, the incident still hit close to home.
"We're all a moto family," Mabilangan said. "A lot of people didn't know this particular young man because he was from out of state, but it's like watching your brother or your own son going down."
In fact, Mabilangan's son indulges in the same sport. He said it's risky, but he does what he can to make sure his teen is safe.
"I send him out in great equipment as much as I can afford," Mabilangan said. "I know the risk. He knows the risks, but it's something he loves to do."
As for this tragic loss, he said the moto community is and will always stick together.
"The nice thing is it's a moto family," Mabilangan said. "Even though a lot of people didn't know him we all come together for him."
MMR, Twin Township Ambulance of New Lothrup, Michigan State Police, Baja Acres staff, Tuscola County Victim’s Advocacy, and Lifenet assisted in responding to this incident.