By Nathan Ham
Boone resident Danny Dunn, 67, of 3935 Hardin Road, died late Wednesday evening at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.
Dunn, the former owner of Wilkesboro Raceway Park, took off in his personal plane from a runway on his property on Hardin Road. According to eyewitness reports, the plane had taken off approximately 100 yards from the crash site about 20 minutes prior to the crash. Witnesses also reported that the plane had circled several times then went down. The plane caught fire once it made an impact, however, Dunn was able to crawl away from the scene of the crash.
Dunn was carried out and transported to a landing zone at Mt. Pleasant School in Wilkes County before being airlifted to Baptist Hospital.
According to WSOC in Charlotte, Dunn sustained burns to 70 percent of his body. The FAA is still investigating the crash.
Dunn was a former IHRA drag racer and owned the Wilkesboro Raceway Park for a short amount of time. Wilkesboro’s drag strip is the longest-operating drag strip in North Carolina, first opening in 1955. Dunn sold the track in 2014 to current owners, Phil and Pat Halbedel.