The Silver State Classic Challenge had a brush with tragedy on Sunday when two competitors lost their lives competing in the event. According to the Nye County Sherriff's Office, 53-year-old driver Richard DeKneef of California and his co-driver, 41-year-old Merille Hill of Ely, Nevada were both killed on Sunday when their Chevrolet Camaro blew a tire, rolled several times and caught fire. Both men were reportedly trapped inside the blaze.

The Silver State Classic Challenge is an open-road rally held across 90 miles of Route 318 in Nevada, where professional and amateur drivers alike can push their vehicles to the upper limits of speed in a sanctioned event.

DeKneef and Hill's deaths are the first fatalities at the event since 1992. Organizers have held the race every year since 1988. Our sympathies go out to the DeKneef and Hill families.


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  • 37 Comments
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Coming from someone who has been trapped in a wrecked, burning vehicle, there is not a much worse way to go out. As bad as it sounds, hopefully they died somewhere in the impact. Condolences to the friends and family. A tragedy for sure.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wouldn't call that a brush with tragedy; that *is* a tragedy.
        Ken
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        No doubt. Please replace with "experienced" instead of "had a brush" and then go look up the meaning of said idiom.
        Christopher Anderson
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dukeisduke
        Two people die and that's what you comment on?
          Rampant
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Christopher Anderson
          Here come the grammar police again.
          TexRob
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Christopher Anderson
          I must agree with dukeisduke, the comment was valid as it downplays exactly what you are saying, the fact that two people died.
          dukeisduke
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Christopher Anderson
          A "brush with tragedy" would imply that the people escaped without serious injury. Two people died. Very sad for everyone there, and for their families.
      Christopher Anderson
      • 3 Years Ago
      My thoughts and prayers go out to the families. It's never easy to be reminded how dangerous the hobby we enjoy is.
      ShutoSteve
      • 3 Years Ago
      Enzo Ferrari once said that a man who dies behind the wheel whilst racing is the spirit in every other driver in the field. I hope they at least died doing something they loved. R.I.P.
      Stephen Smalling
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sobering reminder of the dangers of our sport. Best wishes to the family, friends, and event organizers.
      Sweet Pooh
      • 3 Years Ago
      You play You pay!-That's it folks.
      carpro33
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh please elnpet......wake up and LIVE ! You must be an extremely boring person.
      Elmo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Didn't Smoky Nagata (owner and founder of Top Secret Performance and Engineering) have a really bad wreck at this event in his 350Z?
      Buddy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Speed kills but if it must happen I hope they died in the crash and not burned to death. Enjoy the motor sports, the drivers know the perils involved and still take them. Never want to see this happen but it does every so often, amen.
      elnpet
      • 3 Years Ago
      TThis is a disgrace. why are not these car and plane events cancelled out for good? All I can see is families left with out their husbands, fathers and sons and daughters, since women are drivers also. If they are thrill seekers I feel they should find other ways to get their thrills. Losing lives is not funny. I am for banning all of these thrill seeking events so families are not devastated by these thrill seeking morans. Plus mountain climbers who lose their way and have no plan for getting found. Let them pay for their own search parties . This is childish with all the help that people need to survive. Please do not comment that thiis is their free will. We know that, but do they think of the consequences of their actions on the innocent people they leave behind? NO !!!!!
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @elnpet
        Yes, people should stay in bed with helmets on their heads all the time, that way they won't accidentally enjoy their life and get in danger. You are a bore if you really believe what you just posted. Everyone dies in the end, it's not how many years you can squeeze in, but how you live those years.
        Shawn Brinker
        • 3 Years Ago
        @elnpet
        Don't just stop at banning these events, let's ban planes, trains and automobiles because they kill hundreds of people a day. Let's ban swimming pools because people could DROWN, let's ban eating because people might choke, let's ban all sharp objects, and cats, and quilts, and air! Let's make wearing safety helmets mandatory at all times, and require everyone to lock themselves in padded rooms until this insanity stops! You can die just walking through your living room, or you can die jumping out of a perfectly good airplanes. I know which way I would rather go.
        ShutoSteve
        • 3 Years Ago
        @elnpet
        Dear God, seek help.
        good
        • 3 Years Ago
        @elnpet
        elnpet, have you ever texted or talked on the phone while you drove your car? That has killed more than two people.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @elnpet
        [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
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