Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy

Flagman struck, killed by race truck at Florida short track

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A flagman officiating a race at Bronson Speedway in Archer, Fla., was killed in a racing accident at the track this past Sunday.

According to the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, veteran track official and flagman Buddy Jack Howell, Jr., was killed after being struck by a race truck that had gone out of control, according to Levy County sheriff’s investigators.

Howell, 49, was a resident of Bradenton, Fla. Paramedics attempted to revive him both at the track and en route to University of Florida Health Shands Hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival, according to Lt. Scott Tummond, a Levy County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

Tummond said there was no foul play in the incident at the track, which bills itself as “Florida’s Premier High Bank Short Track.” The track is located about 15 miles southwest of Gainesville.

“It’s a tragic accident,” Tummond told the Sun. “This wasn’t a race with high speeds.”

Veteran race competitor J.W. McNeal of Jonesville, Fla., recalled Howell as someone who loved racing and worked at a number of different small tracks across the Southeast.

“I think this is going to make everyone reflect on what racing is all about,” McNeal said. “The one thing Bud would not want is for us to stop racing.

“It’s not uncommon to see the same guy in the flag stand hanging out in the pits or in the field. Bud could do anything.”

Gainesville Mayor Ed Braddy had spent Saturday night at the track with his daughter, who is interested in racing.

“(Howell) even let her climb up in the flag stand and taught her how to wave the flags,” Braddy told the Sun. “He was eager to teach his knowledge about the sport. I took it pretty hard.”

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