A drag race tragically turned fatal on Sunday claiming the life of a 57-year-old Newburgh, New York man.

A weekend of racing at the Lebanon Valley Dragway ended tragically after 57-year-old William "Bill" Janke, 57, of Newburgh, NY died from injuries suffered Sunday during a sanctioned drag race at the popular race track.

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Drag Race Turns Fatal at New York Raceway

According to the New York State Police, the accident happened on Sunday, July 7th at approximately 12:30 p.m. when Janke, a Longtime NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series racer lost control of the car he was driving and struck a barrier. Janke was ejected from the vehicle and sadly pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency medical service personnel according to a NYSP press release.

SEE ALSO: Port Chester, New York Police Officer Killed in Crash

Witnesses at the raceway did tell Auto Week that Janke’s car burst into flames as he crossed the finish line in a victory against Lawrence Willard and that when his car left the New Lebanon, N.Y. racetrack.

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William Janke

As word began to spread about the tragic accident, many shared fond memories of Janke at racetracks across the county including a post from the County Local News that said, "Janke’s impact on the NHRA community extended far beyond the track. He was known for his generosity and willingness to help fellow racers, always offering advice and support to those in need. His warm personality and sense of humor made him a beloved figure in the racing world, and his presence will be sorely missed by all who knew him."

Meredith Howard Janke, Janke's wife posted a message on social media saying,

"I would like to firstly like to thank everyone for their prayers. I'm crying my eyes out posting this. My husband Bill Janke who I love with all my heart has gone to heaven today after a horrible car crash that took his life. He absolutely loved drag racing! It was his life and passion. Please know that he loved his drag racing family! You were the world to him!"

Sadly Bill and Meredith would have celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary in August. She ended her post by saying,

"I can't imagine my life without him. I'm sorry for my rambling. I just loved him with all my heart. He truly was my lifeline. Once I have made arrangements I will let everyone know. He loved you all! Thank you!"

Rest in peace!

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