MECHANICSVILLE, Va. -- The Virginia go-kart community lost a leader, a wife lost her husband. and three children lost their father in a head-on collision on Interstate 85 in Durham, North Carolina.
Christopher Beazley, 43, died on August 26, 2022, from injuries he suffered in the August 14 crash.
Beazley, his wife Elaine, daughter six-year-old Ella, and a teenage friend of the family were driving home from a go-kart event in South Carolina when police said a drunk driver crashed head-on into the family's truck.
"We were coming home from the Big O Tribute go-kart race," Elaine said. "I was driving north on I-85 in the far left lane. Out of nowhere, [a car] was flicking its lights from high to low in the opposite direction [and] hit us head-on. It literally happened in seconds."
It was 4 a.m. and the injured family was rushed to Duke Medical Center with serious injuries. None more serious than Chris.
"He suffered massive internal injuries and a broken leg," Elaine shared. "Doctors at Duke said he was young and a fighter, but his odds for survival were very low."
During his life, Chris Beazley was a champion racer and track promoter at Capital City Speedway in Ashland.
"He really brought the racing community together," Elaine said about Chris's work. "He worked with other tracks so that we were all successful instead of competing against one another. Regardless of how seasoned the racer or how much they sponsored, he treated everyone the same. He was always trying to help racers be successful. He wanted racing to be affordable and fun."
It was his passion.
"He was just all around a great person, he worked hard, loved hard, and played hard," she said. "Just a supportive person in so many ways. A great example of how to treat people fair, love your family, especially his children."
The Caroline County native's untimely death triggered an outpouring of love and support from his racing community.
Capital City Speedway to resume kart racing on September 17 and will honor their leader's memory on race day.
"[It has been enormous, including blood drives, multiple fundraisers, and tributes pouring in on social media," a family spokesperson said. "The hashtag #BeazleyStrong has been trending. Donations to the families can be made at stevekingfoundation.org and 100% of the funds raised will go directly to the families."
And family, both by blood and through the bonds of racing, is what Elaine hopes remains Chris's lasting legacy.
"To be the father that he was," she said. "And to bring racers and tracks together, be competitive, and be kind."
The driver arrested for the crash that killed Chris Beazley was charged with felony death by motor vehicle, felony serious injury by motor vehicle, driving while impaired, no operator’s license, careless and reckless driving, and unlawful use of highways.
Brayan Josue Amador-Alonso, 24, was jailed with a $1 million bond.
The Chris Beazley Memorial Race will be held the weekend of November 19 at Capital City Speedway.
Tribute video provided by Storke Funeral Home.