Driver of VW dragster in Knightdale fiery crash dies

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Thursday, October 1, 2015
The dragster caught fire after the collision.
The dragster caught fire after the collision.
image courtesy Town of Knightdale

KNIGHTDALE, NC (WTVD) -- The driver of a VW Beetle converted into a dragster that hit a parked pickup truck in Knightdale Wednesday evening and burst into flames, has died.

It happened in the 100 block of South First Avenue.

Firefighters put out the blaze and cut the driver, James Victor Massey, from the wreckage.

He was taken to the UNC burn Center in Chapel Hill where he died. Massey was the owner/operator of Massey Auto Works.

The preliminary investigation shows that Massey was testing a motor that had just been installed in the VW dragster. While testing in the parking lot, the throttle became stuck in the open position.

Investigators said Massey tried to keep the vehicle from leaving his property, and hit a parked truck in doing so. The impact broke the fuel line, resulting in the car's ignition of high-octane racing fuel.

"Jimmy Massey, his family, and his company have been long time staples of the Knightdale community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time," said Captain Jacqui Boykin of the Knightdale Police Department.

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