Retired NASCAR driver Richard "Dick" Trickle passed away on Thursday, May 16, from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot. According to a statement released by the authorities, before Trickle's death, dispatcher officer received a phone call, which is believed coming from Trickle. The caller said that there would be a dead body at Forest Lawn Cemetery and it would be his. The officer tried to reach back to the number, but received no response.
Emergency units later found Trickle's body near his pick up truck at the cemetery which is located in Boger City, North Carolina. Lt. Detective Tim Johnson said that a note was found in the scene and there were no suspicion of foul play. However, ESPN reported that the police would still conduct an investigation, because it was the standard for cases like this.
"He called in. It's not the first time we've had these. It's always a sad situation, even sadder for the family," Johnson said. He added that further information such as the content of the note and the suspected gun type would not be revealed to public. "We're trying to protect the family as much as possible, and they had just gotten notified right after it happened. We're trying to respect their privacy," he explained.
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France offered condolences in a statement, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Dick Trickle on his passing today. Dick was a legend in the short-track racing community, particularly in his home state of Wisconsin, and he was a true fan favorite. Personalities like Dick Trickle helped shape our sport. He will be missed."
Trickle was NASCAR's Rookie of the Year in the premier series of 1989. He finished the race in top five six times and made nine-time top ten finishes. Before he retired in 2002, he won two Nationwide Series races and made 15 top-five finishes.