Bainbridge-- Dalton Gunner Moore was practicing on his dirt bike when he jumped off a dirt ramp at the track in Bainbridge yesterday afternoon.
His father and coach were there, but they lost sight of him between two ramps. Investigators believe Moore was thrown from the bike after landing the jump.
Twelve-year-old Gunner Moore was practicing jumps at the Southern Raceway MX park around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday when he crashed.
"Anybody involved, period, it's difficult. But when you're dealing with a young child, its very difficult," says Investigator Pat Trolinger with the Decatur County Sheriff's Office.
Difficult, tragic and, investigators say, seemingly unpreventable. "He appeared to have all his PPE, which is, we call Personal Protective Equipment. He appeared to have a helmet, chest guard, the pants, the boots," says Trolinger.
"He was wearing everything I would have worn if I was out there racing and riding at his speed. It's just one of those things, it really reaches up and grabs you," added Shane Lusk, Moore's instructor. Lusk coached Moore for two years and loved him like a brother.
Lusk himself, suffered a traumatic injury on a dirt bike several years ago. He was told he'd never walk again. Now he's returned to the track, but for a different reason. "I still come back and teach kids how to race, and safety, and everything that keeps me in the sport. I kind of live through there happiness now," Lusk says.
And, he says, nothing made his young student happier than riding his dirt bike. "He was so happy, he 100% loved what he was doing and he wouldn't, I don't think he would regret or take anything back. That's the same passion I kind of lived with when I raced," says Lusk.
Moore's family and friends will miss the young man who's life was cut tragically short, but can always gain comfort that it was lived to the fullest.
Dalton Gunner Moore's funeral arrangements have not yet been released.