Seconds after Warner blitzed by her, Perewitz could hear the noise of the crash, with dust and debris flying in the air. One report said the bike veered to the right and then launched 40 feet through the air. For Perewitz, that was too far down the track to see.
“Then it was quiet for a while,’’ she said. “The ambulance was right there, so they took off right away to get him. I don’t want to say people go down frequently, but it happens, and Bill was hurt in a fall last year in Texas and came back from it. So, you’re hopeful. Then next it came over the [track PA system] that he was conscious, going to the hospital and they’d keep us updated.’’
The ambulance rushed Warner to Cary Medical Center in Caribou, Maine. Approximately an hour and 15 minutes after the crash, at around 11:15 a.m., he was pronounced dead.
“Nobody thought he was going to pass away. No one. I mean, it wasn’t even a thought,” said Perewitz. “And then about an hour went by and the announcement came, ‘No more racing.’ He was dead. I was in awe. I was like, ‘What, I thought he was OK?!’ ’’
Born in Little Falls, N.Y., on Feb. 11, 1969, Warner was not married and left behind his parents, a brother, and a sister.
In a biography posted more than two years ago on dragbike.com, he was asked his goals.
“To keep going faster,’’ he said, “but never faster than my guardian angel can fly.’’