CAMDEN, SC — A 63-year-old man competing in the annual marathon LeMons road race in northern Kershaw County died Saturday after he suffered a fatal heart attack while driving.
“It’s going to be a natural death – he suffered a heart attack and died before he wrecked,” Kershaw County coroner Johnny Fellers said Sunday.
Sidney Brayton, of Norcross, Ga., was riding around the 2.3 mile speedway north of Camden when his car veered off the track, went into sand and finally struck a stack of tires meant as a guard rail, Fellers said.
More than 1,000 were watching when the crash occurred, Fellers estimated.
All of Brayton’s required safety equipment – including his helmet, upper body restraint system, fireproof suit and roll bar – was functioning and worked as it should, Fellers said.
An autopsy Sunday morning proved he died of the heart attack, Fellers said.
Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews got a report on the incident from a deputy, one of several deputies driving in the race.
“He never hit the brakes and slammed right into the guard rail.
No one else was injured in the crash.
The two-day race, called the 24 Hours of LeMons, is composed of old cars on which not more than $500 has been spent. The race is one of numerous events held throughout the year at the Carolina Motorsports Park.
The site is on an old World War II fighter-training base located about four miles south of Kershaw and seventeen miles north of Camden on Highway 521.
Reach Monk at (803) 771-8344