Neal Michael Burlington 05.04.93 ~ 08.20.12
Don't lose your kid to motorcycle street racing.
Learn how track racing is the safest alternative for your speed lover.
On August 20, 2012, at 4:20 PM, my 19 year old son, Neal Michael Burlington, was killed in motorcycle street racing accident. He jumped on his bike, rode off and never came home again. Trust me when I say this: You never want to know this emptiness.
I'd just returned home from helping my sister at her quilt shop. I walked in to find Neal gone, the AC in his room running full blast, doors and windows wide open. Completely annoyed, I shut down the AC, closed the windows and fired off an angry text. Moments later, there was a knock at my door. I walked out of his room to see a police officer framed in the screen door. I was immediately annoyed, wondering what he'd done this time. Earlier that year, Neal had lost his license for speeding and reckless driving and had only recently had it reinstated. I'd had enough of court rooms and police.
"There's been an accident." I stared at them. Two police officers standing in my kitchen. "Well, is he OK?" I asked, still annoyed. "No, he's not. He died." He died? An entire year later and I still cannot believe what I heard that day. I may never believe it. I slid to the floor. He died. The rest was a blur. My brother's anguished cry through the phone. My sister's firm, take-charge, I'll be right there. My mother's confusion and disbelief.
While we will never really know what happened that day, there are some things we do know. Three 19 year old recent grads, full of freedom, summer and bravado met for a ride. A favorite among motorcycle enthusiasts, they chose Mountain Road in Goffstown, NH for its rolling hills and wide sweeping corners. Witnesses report the sound of three motorcycles traveling at a "high rate of speed." They reached that sharp, unmarked right hand turn going way too fast. The first rider, Chrys, made the corner and continued on. Neal collided with an oncoming car and was killed instantly. His friend, Justin, hit a telephone pole and was air lifted to Boston with serious injuries.
A lot of lives were changed that day, including that of the woman and her daughter driving that oncoming car. Her penance for being in the wrong place at the wrong time is reliving the memory of that day, each time she makes her way home. I think of her often, knowing that she too lost something that day on Mountain Road.
If you or someone you know has a kid like Neal - sport bike rider, excited by speed, fed by adrenaline, I'm here to offer you an alternative to burying your kid. Instead of watching helplessly as they as they ride off to who-knows-where, introduce them to track racing. I know. It sounds crazy. But it really makes sense. The track is manned by a trained safety crew. There's an ambulance, EMTs, professionally trained instructors. Every rider on course is trained in what to do, and what not to do. There are no oncoming cars. No telephone poles. Out on the street, anything can and does happen.
Learn more about how track racing can protect the life of your speed lover and bring your family closer together. Keep an eye on your fast kid. Pack up your family, the tent and grill and head up to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Loudon Road Race Series and Penguin Roadracing School.