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Apr 8, 2001

Dirk Piz Died A Hero, Brother Says

Jay Piz feels strongly that his brother, Dirk, who died following a crash at Daytona on March 11, should be remembered as a hero.

Jay Piz said that he has been told by eyewitnesses that his brother Dirk deliberately chose to steer away from Kiyo Watanabe, (who had crashed in front of Piz in the chicane at Daytona during the Pro Thunder race), and hit Watanabe's motorcycle instead. The way Jay Piz sees it, Dirk Piz may have saved Watanabe at the cost of his own life.

Jay Piz also aknowledged the bravery of Dirk's teammate and girlfriend, Wyeth Jackson, who completed the restarted Pro Thunder race and finished 13th after running as high as 10th, all while knowing that Dirk was involved in the crash that brought out the red flag. (Jackson did not know the extent of Dirk Piz's injuries at the time.)

According to news reports, Dirk Piz was the 32nd competitor--and the sixth motorcycle racer--to die at Daytona International Speedway.

Piz suffered a ruptured aorta in the crash.

The Piz family has asked that in lieu of flowers or cards that donations be made to a charity that Dirk Piz supported:

Denver Children's Advocacy Center
1271 Elati Street
Denver, CO 80204