Drag Boat and Water Speed Record Racer Memorial


Dale Anderson

Born:  June 24, 1955

Died:  September 8, 2002


Age:  47

Full Name:  Dale Wesley Anderson


Location:  Lake Ming, near Bakersfield, California

Event:  National Jet Boat Association race

Accident Date:  September 8, 2002


Biographical:  His boat became airborne and flipped.  He was transported to Kern Medical Center where he died shortly after arrival.  He was from Newport Beach, California.


"Drag racer dies at jet boat tourney," Manila Standard, September 9, 2002

"Drag racer dies in jet boat event in Calif.," Spartanburg Herald-Journal, September 9, 2002

Social Security Death Index  (Dale W. Anderson, born June 24, 1955, died Sep. 8, 2002, SS# issued in Calif. In 1969)

California Birth Index  (Dale Wesley Anderson, born June 24, 1955 in L.A. Co., mother’s maiden name was Hodson)


Joe Barnes

Born:  September 3, 1944

Died:  August 28, 2004

Buried: South Fork Cemetery, South Baptist Church, near Halls, Tennessee

Age:  59

Full Name:  Joe Henry Barnes, Jr.

Nickname: "The Real 239"

Location:  Green River, Livermore, Kentucky

Event:  Kentucky Drag Boat Association 9th annual "Thunder on the Green" race

Accident Date:  August 28, 2004


Biographical:  During qualifying, he died instantly when his boat flipped in the air and he was ejected.  Wind and speed were thought to be a factor in his crash.  He was from Ripley, Tennessee, and had been racing boats for 25 years.  He was survived by his wife and four children.


"Tennessee man killed in western Kentucky hydroplane race," Elizabethton Star, August 30, 2004

Social Security Death Index  (Joe H. Barnes, born Sep. 3, 1944, died Aug. 28, 2004, SS# issued in Tennessee in 1960, last residence was Ripley, TN)

Harriett Barnes Higgs, e-mail communication to site administrator, Aug. 18, 2011

Rita Barnes, e-mail communication to site administrator, 


Don Ermshar

Born:  February 16, 1943

Died:  August 27, 2009

Buried:  Crestlawn Memorial Park, Riverside, California

Age:  66

Full Name:  Donald Paul Ermshar


Location:  Marine Creek Lake, North Fort Worth, Texas

Event:  Southern Drag Boat Association Cowtown Drag Boat Nationals

Accident Date:  July 12, 2009

Boat:  top alcohol flatbottom

Biographical:  He was traveling at 161 MPH when he skidded out of control at the finish line.  He was submerged under water for about five minutes in his safety capsule until rescue workers could extricate him.  He was transported to Harrison Methodist Hospital.  Initial diagnosis showed his injuries seemed to be minor, but he developed complications and died about six weeks after the crash.  He was from Riverside, California, and was survived by his wife, Phyllis.


"Drag boat racer in stable condition after Fort Worth crash," Star-Telegram, July 13, 2009

http://dragboatalley.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/2/481.html  (accessed 7/25/10)

http://dragboatalley.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/4/286.html  (accessed 7/25/10)

Social Security Death Index  (Donald Ermshar, born Feb. 16, 1943, died Aug. 27, 2009, SS# issued in Calif. In 1959, last residence in Riverside, CA)


http://teamrfc.org/DonErmshar.shtml  (accessed 7/25/10)



Lance Faulkner

Born:  August 24, 1969

Died:  November 22, 2001

Buried: East Lawn Memorial Hills Cemetery, Provo, Utah

Age:  30

Full Name:  Lance Travis Faulkner


Location:  Lake Mead, Parker, Arizona


Accident Date:  November 22, 2001


Biographical: He was testing a drag boat when the propeller broke and the boat flipped over on Lake Mead. He lived in Provo, Utah, and was survived by his wife, Melanie, and young daughter.


"Boat crash claims Lance Faulkner," Deseret News, Nov. 27, 2001

"Racer remembered for putting others first," Deseret News, Jan. 14, 2002





Alan Hawkins


Died:  June 17, 2000



Full Name:  


Location:  Lake Ming, near Bakersfield, California


Accident Date:  

Boat:  "Gladiator" blown alcohol hydro

Biographical:  He had only raced his boat a few times prior to his fatal accident.  He suffered rudder failure near the finish.


Gary Brown, e-mail communication to site administrator, Oct. 4, 2010


John Hipwell


Died:  October 3, 2004


Age:  47

Full Name:  John R. Hipwell, Jr.


Location:  Lake Yosemite, Merced, California

Event:  International Hot Boat Association race

Accident Date:  October 3, 2004

Boat:  "Madness" top fuel hydro

Biographical:  His boat spun out of control at 201 MPH on the top end.  He was making a single pass after his competitor broke.  He was an auto mechanic and lived in Landing, New Jersey.  He was survived by his wife, Jo-Ann.



"Crash victim loved racing," Merced Sun-Star, October 5, 2004

"Landing man killed in California boat mishap while trying to set world record," New Jersey Highlands News Service, October 11, 2004

http://dragboatracing.com/Community/Forums/tabid/54/aft/35688/Default.aspx  (accessed 7/25/10)


http://www.pbase.com/richard/boat_races   (accessed 7/25/10)


Charlie Hodsdon

Born:  December 21, 1963

Died:  October 15, 2006


Age:  42

Full Name:  Charles R. Hodsdon


Location:  Lake Ming, near Bakersfield, California


Accident Date:  September 17, 2006

Boat:  "White Thunder" River Races jet boat

Biographical:  His boat went airborne at about 140 MPH at about half track.  He was ejected, but the boat landed on top of him.  He was transported to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.  He was paralyzed from the waist down.  After about three weeks, they transported him to Enloe Medical Center in Chico, California.  Unfortunately he began having complications, was operated on, and died.  He was from Paradise, California, and was survived by his wife, Audrey.


http://dragboatalley.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/2/243.html (accessed 7/26/10)

http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_8039514  (accessed 7/26/10)


http://dragboatalley.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/2/243/2.html  (accessed 7/26/10)


Mike Neuharth

Born:  January 3, 1959

Died:  April 9, 2005

Buried: Mount Angeles Memorial Park, Port Angeles, Washington

Age:  46

Full Name:  Michael Alan Neuharth


Location:  Firebird Lake, Phoenix, Arizona

Event:  International Hot Boat Association Lakefest

Accident Date:  April 9, 2005

Boat:  "Silver Belle" Pro Mod

Biographical:  He had just finished a qualifying run at about 165 MPH.  He had just backed off the accelerator when one of his sponsons lifted and the boat nose dived and did a hard right turn.  It then began flipping violently end over end and side over side.  The boat sank in shallow water and rescue workers got to him within 90 seconds, but were unable to resuscitate him.  Some thought that because the capsule didn't separate from the hull, that malfunction may have led to his death.  He was from Sequim, Washington, and was survived by his wife and three children.


"Cause of racer's death may be faulty capsule," Arizona Republic, April 12, 2005

Social Security Death Index  (Mike Neuharth, born Jan. 3, 1959, died Apr. 9, 2005, SS# issued in Calif. In 1972)

California Birth Index  (Michael A. Neuharth, born Jan. 3, 1959 in San Joaquin Co., mother’s maiden name was Mueller)


Find a Grave


Stephen Rawleigh

Born:  July 20, 1957

Died:  September 28, 2008


Age:  51

Full Name:  Stephen Todd Rawleigh


Location:  Lake Ming, near Bakersfield, California


Accident Date:  September 28, 2008

Boat:  19-foot Chevy-powered flatbottom

Biographical:  He was traveling about 115 MPH when he lost control and the boat flipped upside down over and over.  He was transported to Kern Medical Center where he died.


"Man dies at Lake Ming drag boat races," KGET.com, September 28, 2008

"Arizona drag racer dies after Lake Ming crash," BakersfieldNow.com, September 29, 2008

Social Security Death Index  (Stephen Todd Rawleigh, born July 20, 1957, died Sep. 28, 2008, SS# issued in Calif. In 1963)


http://stephenrawleigh.webs.com/whenwhere.htm  (accessed 7/25/10)

http://stephenrawleigh.webs.com/  (accessed 7/25/10)



David Skalicky

Born:  September 12, 1973

Died:  July 10, 2005

Buried: Evergreen Memorial Park, Crockett, Texas

Age:  31

Full Name:  David Lee Skalicky

Nickname:  "Mr. Dixie"

Location:  Oklahoma River, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Event:  Southern Drag Boat Association Ozarka Bricktown Nationals

Accident Date:  July 10, 2005

Boat:  "Bad Boys Dixie Toy Express" blown gas flatbottom

Biographical:  He was thrown from his boat near the start when the front end of the craft came up.  His body position when thrown into the water was not good and he suffered a broken neck.  He was transported to the O-U Medical Center where he died.  He was a school teacher from Crockett, Texas.


"East Texas man dies in drag boat racing accident in Oklahoma City," KTRE.com, July 10, 2005

Social Security Death Index  (David L. Skalicky, born Sep. 12, 1973, died  July 10, 2005, SS# issued in Texas)


http://www.pipelinepc.com/dixieexpressracing/home.html  (accessed 7/23/10)

http://dragboatracing.com/Community/Forums/tabid/54/aft/35706/Default.aspx (accessed 3/12/11) 

Find a Grave (photo courtesy of Carol Johnson Hoch)




Jim Tucker

Born:  March 7, 1957

Died:  June 20, 2009

Buried: Mission Burial Park South, San Antonio, Texas

Age:  52

Full Name:  James Delson Tucker


Location:  Creve Coeur Lake, Maryland Heights, Missouri

Event:  30th annual Budweiser Creve Coeur Lake Drag Boat Classic

Accident Date:  June 20, 2009

Boat:  "Say When"

Biographical:  During qualifying he was speeding about 140 MPH when his boat began chine walking and then dipped bow first into the water and its deck was torn off.  It then proceeded to disintegrate.  He was ejected from the boat and died soon after on shore.  He was from Kingsbury, Texas, and was survived by his wife, Yvonne.  He was a 20-year veteran drag boat racer and had been the IHBRA Pro-Eliminator world champion in 2008.



"1 killed during boat race," News Tribune.com, June 22, 2009

Social Security Death Index  (James D. Tucker, born Mar. 7, 1957, died June 20, 2009, SS# issued in Texas in 1973)

Texas Marriage Collection  (James D. Tucker, married Yvonne Laney on Dec. 20, 2000 in Guadalupe Co., TX)


http://dragboatalley.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/2/473/3.html (accessed 8/5/10)

"2008 Pro-Eliminator champ augurs in," BoatTEST.com, July 1, 2009 


Jay Wallace

Born:  September 26, 1962

Died:  May 6, 2006

Buried:  cremains scattered at Lake Mead

Age:  43

Full Name:  Edward Jay Wallace


Location:  Lake Ming, near Bakersfield, California

Event:  National Jet Boat Association May Shootout race

Accident Date:  May 6, 2006


Biographical:  Witnesses thought his throttle got stuck while traveling about 130 MPH and he hit the shore at full speed.  His boat flew into the air, over a parking lot, and crashed into a hillside causing a grass fire.  He was thrown from the boat after it left the water.   He was transported to Kern Medical Center where he died.  He was from Las Vegas, Nevada, and was survived by his wife, Denise, and three children.


"Man dies after weekend boating accident at Lake Ming," BakersfieldNow.com, May 7, 2010

Social Security Death Index