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Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Davis County Sheriff's deputies investigate a fatal motorcycle accident Thursday, April 5, 2012 at the Jordan River Off Highway Vehicle Park at 2800 North Rose Park Lane in North Salt Lake that took the life of 38-year-old Chris Minneci of Park City.

NORTH SALT LAKE — A 38-year-old Park City man was killed in a dirt bike crash Thursday.

A call came in from the Jordan River Off-Highway Vehicle Park, 2800 N. Rose Park Lane, reporting a fatal accident around 11 a.m., Davis County Sheriff's Sgt. Susan Poulsen said. Witnesses said Chris Minneci was attempting a 50-foot jump when he crashed and the bike landed on top of him.

Minneci suffered massive head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Poulsen said the man was wearing full-body protection gear as well as a helmet. He was racing the dirt bike alone at the park, but there were several other riders nearby when he crashed.

Eric Stucki, a ranger with the Utah State Parks north region, said Minneci was a regular at the park and that his death has impacted the motocross community.

"Some of the staff members did know him as they had seen him quite a bit," Stucki said. "It's kind of like a big family out here at this park. A lot of the riders, we all stick together … it affects everybody."

He said motocross comes with inherent risks just like those associated with any other vehicle.

"We want to encourage people to wear their safety gear, know what they can do (and) what their limits are — what their machine limits are," Stucki said. "You just never know. Be prepared for anything when you're out there."

Landen Powell, 20, of South Jordan, said he has been riding for the past 14 years. He said that it's important for riders to know the conditions of the track as well as their own limitations. Still, he said accidents can happen anywhere and he'd rather have one doing something he loves.

"I've been doing it my whole life," Powell said. "This is all I know and I wouldn't change it for the world. ... If it's something you love to do, there's no reason you shouldn't do it."

The Jordan River Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area is made up off four separate tracks — including two motocross tracks for off-highway motorcycles — that are open from early April to mid-October, according to the website for the recreation area.

Emiley Morgan, Peter Samore

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