JAYSKI's SILLY SEASON SITE

thanks Dale
image from That's Racin'

JAYSKI's DALE EARNHARDT TRIBUTE

some OFFICIAL reactions to Earnhardt's death
(below the Autopsy Picture Controversy)


  • You can also voice your opinion on the Photo Situation at the NCCAP (NASCAR Community Against Autopsy Photos) site (4-23-2001) or the ACFFP(American Citizens for Family Privacy)(6-8-2001)

    CONTACT EMAIL, PHONE NUMBERS and ADDRESSES below these stories:

  • Papers Drop Autopsy Photo Challenge: Two Florida newspapers dropped their challenge Monday to a state law restricting access to autopsy photos that passed after the death of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. The papers sued in Broward County after a medical examiner refused to release the photos, saying the restriction violated the state constitution. Newspapers sought access to the photos as questions arose over how Earnhardt died in the 2001 crash and whether better safety equipment might have saved him. The papers voluntarily dismissed the case Monday, weeks before the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach was scheduled to hear the case. The papers decided to drop the case because it would be difficult to win after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a separate case about photographs of former deputy White House counsel Vince Foster. The court decided the pictures should remain sealed, citing privacy concerns of the family. The Foster and Earnhardt cases have the same legal logic, said University of Florida law Professor Jon Mills, who filed a brief on behalf of the driver's widow, Teresa Earnhardt, in the U.S. Supreme Court case.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(4-13-2004)

  • Florida newspaper loses appeal over Earnhardt autopsy photographs: The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from a student-run newspaper that wanted autopsy photos of race car driver Dale Earnhardt. The newspaper had challenged the constitutionality of a Florida law passed after Earnhardt's death, barring public access to autopsy pictures. Before the law, Florida had allowed the public to see the photographs for 90 years without any problems, attorney Thomas Julin told justices in a filing. He said the access was used to uncover medical examiners' negligence or criminal activities. The paper sought the photos as questions arose over how the racer died and whether better safety equipment might have saved him. The seven-time Winston Cup champion died on Feb. 18, 2001, when his car hit the wall on the final turn at the Daytona 500. Doctors said he died instantly from head injuries. Lawyers for Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, said that the court's ruling against the newspaper did not involve federal constitutional issues and the Supreme Court should stay out of it. Under the newspaper's interpretation of free speech rights, the lawyers said, "the First Amendment ceases to be a bulwark of freedom, and instead turns it into a nuclear warhead used to eradicate the very freedom it was meant to protect." Supporters of the law, which has been copied in other states, say the measure protects families from seeing a relative's autopsy photos in newspapers or on the Internet. Under the law, unauthorized viewing or copying of photos can bring a $5,000 fine. The court is hearing arguments this week in a similar case, involving access to photos taken after the death of Clinton administration White House attorney Vincent Foster.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(12-1-2003)

  • Autopsy Photos Back in the news: The student-run newspaper is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to get access to NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photographs. Tom Julin, an attorney for the student-run newspaper at the University of Florida, has argued to the high court that the decision barring the newspaper access violates the First Amendment. He made a second point in the appeal, which was mailed Monday, that the law restricting access to autopsy photos is unconstitutional. Autopsy photographs had been public records for decades when Earnhardt died at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, 2001. After his family obtained a court order sealing photos from his autopsy, the Orlando Sentinel sued for access to the pictures. The newspaper said it did not want to publish the photos but to examine them as part of its ongoing investigation into racing safety. The newspaper reached an agreement with the Earnhardts allowing an independent medical expert to view the photos and write a report on how the driver died. Only the expert saw the pictures, and none were published.(Orlando Sentinel/AP)(9-30-2003)

  • Update on NC Autopsy photos: Autopsy photos would be open to viewing by the general public, but only certain people would be allowed to receive copies of such photos under a proposal that made its way out of a House committee on Tuesday. The compromise bill adopted by a House Judiciary committee would allow copies of autopsy photos to be distributed to: The chief medical examiner or his designee. The investigating medical examiner, the district attorney, a superior court judge and law enforcement officials. A personal representative of the deceased (such as the next-of-kin). A person authorized by court order and another medical examiner or doctor who would use the photo for teaching and training purposes. Anyone denied access to copies of the photos can file a special proceeding before a clerk of court. Clerks would be authorized to grant the request if they think the person asking for the photos has good cause. Rep. Karen Ray, R-Iredell, who introduced the bill, said she hopes to "achieve a balance" between the rights of privacy and a free press. John Bussian, a lobbyist for the N.C. Press Association, which opposes the bill, said that the committee should remember that the proposed new law is dealing with something that has historically been open to the public. The bill that Ray originally filed was patterned after a law that passed in Florida following the Feb. 18, 2001, death of Dale Earnhardt in the Daytona 500. Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, fought to keep the autopsy photos from becoming public record, fearing that they could be published over the Internet. A number of NASCAR teams are in Ray's district, and she has a racing-related business. The bill would make it a felony to disseminate autopsy photos to unauthorized recipients. The next step for the bill is the House floor.(in part from the Sun Journal)(3-26-2003)

  • Public Records Stuff: Florida's daily newspapers will publish articles and editorials on Sunday reminding citizens of the state's strong public records laws at a time lawmakers are proposing an increasing number of exemptions. Spearheaded by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and the Tallahassee-based First Amendment Foundation, 35 papers will participate in the "Sunshine Sunday" initiative, which began last year to stress the importance of maintaining an open government. The initiative comes at a time when lawmakers are seeking to tighten access to public records following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The most publicized measure limited public access to autopsy photos. That bill was initiated at the request of NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt's widow and was signed into law by Gov. Jeb Bush just three weeks after it was introduced during the 2001 session.(Wilmington Star)(3-15-2003)

  • Update on Florida Autopsy Law: A state law approved after Dale Earnhardt's death that restricts access to autopsy photos or tape recordings was modified by a state Senate committee Monday to allow grieving relatives to appoint a person such as an attorney, a doctor or a family friend to get autopsy records for them from a medical examiner. The current law, passed at the request of the late stock car driver's widow, allows only relatives to get such photos or recordings. The change recommended Monday would broaden that slightly to allow the family to designate someone else in writing to pick up the items. Earnhardt attorneys did not object to the change and that it will not affect public access to such records to the press or others(Orlando Sentinel)(3-12-2003)

  • N.C. House Committee Begins Debate on Autopsy Photos: North Carolina would follow Florida's lead in limiting public and media access to autopsy photos under legislation now being considered in the state House. Rep. Karen Ray, R-Iredell, told members of the House Judiciary II Committee on Tuesday that limits are needed to prevent graphic displays like those that can be found on the Internet, which cause families further mental anguish. The legislation would bar public access to autopsy photos or videos without permission from a judge. Access would be limited to medical examiners, prosecutors, judges, next of kin, law enforcement and other government officials authorized by the courts to see the material in performing their duties. Photos that delete identifying information could be provided to professionals for training purposes or for publication in medical journals or textbooks. Anyone could petition a district court judge to release the photos or videos but would have to show "good cause." The bill would not affect written autopsy reports. Ray's bill is modeled after a Florida law that went into effect in 2001 after Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, began a legal battle to keep 33 autopsy photos of her husband from being released to the Orlando Sentinel. Just after Earnhardt's death, similar legislation was introduced in the North Carolina House but the bill never received a committee hearing.(in part from the WRAL-TV site)(3-5-2003)

  • Autopsy Photo Fight in NC now: An Iredell County legislator who represents Dale Earnhardt's family in the N.C. House filed a bill last week to remove autopsy photographs as public records. But officials at the N.C. Press Association promise to oppose the legislation. Under the bill sponsored by Rep. Karen Ray, R-Iredell, court officials, investigators and family members of the deceased would have access to autopsy photos, videos and audiotapes. But others would have to ask a judge for a court order to release photos or tapes or allow copies. Ray said that the bill was prompted by the furor two years ago when newspapers and other media outlets asked for photos from the autopsy in Florida of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt after his fatal wreck at the Daytona 500. Earnhardt's widow, Teresa Earnhardt, was on the steering committee for Ray's campaign last year in a Mooresville-based district that is heavily populated by NASCAR drivers, team members, crews and companies. Ray says that protection in the bill extends beyond NASCAR drivers. The bill would make it a felony to illegally provide a photo or recording from an autopsy to an unauthorized official. But Teri Saylor, the executive director of the N.C. Press Association, said that her group of newspaper publishers is likely to oppose Ray's bill, just as it did a similar bill that died in the 2001 legislature. Saylor said that information such as autopsy photos can be critical to a newspaper's watchdog role. Saylor said that many newspapers have strict guidelines about photos. Some newspapers provide links to autopsy reports on their Web sites, but not to autopsy photos, Saylor said. Florida's legislature removed autopsy photos from the state's public records after the flap over the Earnhardt photos. But John Bussian, a lobbyist for the press association, said that Florida voters passed a ballot proposal last year that requires a two-thirds vote in the legislature to remove items from the state's public-records law.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-23-2003)

  • FL Papers appeal ruling on Earnhardt photos: Two newspapers have filed an appeal challenging the constitutionality of a law restricting access to autopsy photos. The Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel filed a brief Wednesday in the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach challenging the constitutionality of the Family Protection Act, passed after Dale Earnhardt's death. Under the law, upheld by a circuit judge last July, unauthorized people who view or copy autopsy photos can be fined $5,000 for committing a felony. Proponents of the law say it protects families from seeing their relative's autopsy photos published or placed on the Internet. The newspapers argue that the law -- which was championed by Earnhardt's wife, Teresa -- is too broad and will restrict the use of autopsy photos for teaching purposes.(Sporting News/AP)(12-12-2002)

  • Earnhardt Autopsy Photo Update: Attorneys for the widow of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt filed a brief Thursday with the Florida Supreme Court contesting an appeal filed by a student newspaper for access to the driver's autopsy photos. A law passed a month after Earnhardt's death in the 2001 Daytona 500 restricts public access to autopsy photos. The Independent Florida Alligator, a student newspaper at the University of Florida, wants the Family Protection Act ruled unconstitutional so its editors can gain access to the photos. Earnhardt's attorneys argued in the brief that the law is constitutional and was upheld first by Volusia County-based Circuit Judge Joseph Will and then by the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach. They also said Teresa Earnhardt and her family are entitled to privacy. The attorneys referred to gory autopsy photos of NASCAR drivers Neil Bonnett and Rodney Orr posted on the Internet just days before the new law went into effect. Citing testimony from Volusia Medical Examiner Thomas Beaver before Will, Tallahassee attorney E. Thom Rumberger wrote in his brief, "The autopsy photographs were used solely as a crosscheck in transcribing the report, and thereafter had no practical continuing utility."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-15-2002)

  • Still at it: A law passed after the death of race car driver Dale Earnhardt that restricts public access to autopsy photos should be tossed out as unconstitutional, the attorney for a student newspaper has urged the Florida Supreme Court.(Full story ay the Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-29-2002)

  • Autopsy Photo Hearing Postponed: Teresa Earnhardt won a 30-day extension from the Florida Supreme Court on Friday to respond to a brief by the independent Florida Alligator newspaper, which wants to reverse a lower court decision upholding a law that restricts public access to autopsy photos. The request drew no objection from the attorneys for the Alligator, which means Earnhardt's attorneys will have until Nov. 13 to file their response. The student-run newspaper in July opted to pursue an appeal of the state law enacted after the death of Teresa's husband, race car driver Dale Earnhardt, in the 2001 Daytona 500. Parker Thomson of Miami, one of Teresa Earnhardt's attorneys, pointed out to the state's high court that Alligator attorney Tom Julin was not opposed to the extension. The law enacted last year makes it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for unauthorized persons to view or copy autopsy photos without a court order. (Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-12-2002)

  • Newspaper Not Giving Up Morbid Fight: The publishers of the Independent Florida Alligator newspaper in Gainesville are asking the state Supreme Court to consider whether the law restricting access to autopsy photos is constitutional. In papers filed earlier this month, Campus Communications asked the high court to review a lower court's decision that the law barring public access to autopsy materials was constitutional. The law was passed in 2001 following the death of race car driver Dale Earnhardt. Newspapers sought access to the photos as questions arose over how Earnhardt died in a Daytona 500 crash and whether better safety equipment might have saved him.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-31-2002)

  • Autopsy Photos: A state appeals court ruled Friday that Florida’s law restricting public access to autopsy photos is constitutional, but said the matter could be appealed further to state Supreme Court. The law, which was passed in March 2001 after race car driver Dale Earnhardt was killed earlier that year in the Daytona 500, is being challenged by several Florida news organizations who contend the law is unconstitutional. In its opinion, the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach said the unauthorized viewing of autopsy photos is a violation of privacy.(more at ThatsRacin.com/AP), see past news on my Dale Earnhardt Tribute site - reactions.(7-12-2002)

  • Autopsy Photo Law Upheld: A judge in Broward County Circuit Court has upheld Florida's so-called "Earnhardt Law" that restricts public access to autopsy photos. The law was passed in March 2001, just more than a month after the death of seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt in a crash during the Daytona 500. Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, lobbied for the law that makes it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for unauthorized persons to view or copy autopsy photos without a court order. Judge Leroy Moe's court order issued Wednesday says the Florida legislature "applied a proper balancing" of "the right to privacy, the right to freedom of press and speech, the right of the people to have access to public records and the right to be left alone," rights which sometimes clash. The law also was upheld by Volusia County Circuit Judge Joseph Will last year. That ruling was appealed to the 5th District Court of Appeals in Daytona Beach. After Will's ruling, the Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Broward County requested to see photos from all autopsies performed in five Florida counties in the past year. Broward County, citing the "Earnhardt Law," said the photos from that county would be provided only if the newspaper got permission from the families involved or showed just cause for the release of the photos. Wednesday's ruling by Judge Moe came in the newspaper's challenge of that decision by Broward County.(ThatsRacin.com) and see the history of the law at the Daytona Beach News Journal and Orlando Sentinel.(7-3-2002)

  • Autopsy Photos News: Whether records that were once open to public scrutiny can be sealed retroactively was the key issue between attorneys arguing both sides of the Dale Earnhardt autopsy photo debate before an appeals court today. "The right exists when the record is created," insisted Tom Julin, a Miami attorney representing The Independent Florida Alligator, a student-run newspaper in Gainesville. The Alligator wants the 5th District Court of Appeal to reverse a ruling last year by Circuit Judge Joseph Will that sealed the Earnhardt photos. The Florida Legislature then adopted a new law restricting access to such photos. Theresa Earnhardt attended the hour-long hearing, along with an entourage of attorneys and media relations specialists. She declined to talk before or after the hearing, during which only attorneys were allowed to argue their respective points before the three-judge panel. The appeals judges could rule anytime from a week to six months or could pass the issue on to the Florida Supreme Court.(more at Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-22-2002)

  • Autopsy Photo Hearing Today UPDATE: Several Florida newspapers and other media groups will ask a judge to overturn a year-old Florida state law restricting access to autopsy photos. Lawyers for the Orlando Sentinel, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and nearly a dozen other media organizations will ask Broward Circuit Judge Leroy Moe to strike down a 2001 law restricting public access to autopsy photos. The newspapers say the law, rushed through the Florida Legislature in the weeks after the death of NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt in last year's Daytona 500, violates language in the Florida Constitution granting citizens access to state records. The law, passed at the urging of widow Teresa Earnhardt, requires anyone wishing to look at autopsy photos to get permission from a judge. It was challenged last year by The Independent Florida Alligator, the student newspaper at the University of Florida, but was upheld by Volusia Circuit Judge Joseph Will. That decision is now on appeal. Tuesday's hearing will bring together many of the attorneys who battled in Will's courtroom -- including lawyers representing the state, Gov. Jeb Bush and Teresa Earnhardt. But rather than focusing on access to autopsy photos of Earnhardt, the hearing will center on a request by the Sentinel and Sun-Sentinel to look at photos of autopsies done by the Broward County medical examiner on bodies that were never identified. Other media organizations that have joined the suit include newspapers in Gainesville, Lakeland, Ocala and Sarasota owned by The New York Times Regional Newspaper Group; The Tampa Tribune and its television affiliate, WFLA-TV, Channel 8; the Society for Professional Journalists; Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; the Student Press Law Center; Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and the First Amendment Foundation.(more at Orlando Sentinel)(3-5-2002)
    UPDATE: After a contentious two hour hearing, a Broward circuit judge said he would rule within two or three weeks on a 2001 state law that restricts access to autopsy photos. Circuit Judge Leroy Moe repeatedly interrupted lawyers defending the law passed in the wake of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's death, grilling them on what was the "public necessity" for the legislature closing records guaranteed to be available under Florida's constitution.(more at Orlando Sentinel)(3-5-2002)

  • Earnhardt's join the autopsy case: Seeking to defend a new state law restricting public access to autopsy photos, Dale Earnhardt's family joined a court case Thursday challenging the law. The late NASCAR driver's family said it was admitted as a "friend of the court," meaning it is not an official party to the lawsuit but could argue in support of the law, which was passed last year at the urging of Earnhardt's widow. The law prohibits unauthorized people from viewing or copying autopsy photos without a court order, punishable by five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. A group of media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Tribune, sued last month. The Sentinel sought a review of Earnhardt's autopsy photos by a safety expert to determine whether better equipment could have prevented the racer's death.(ThatsRacin/AP)(3-1-2002)

  • Autopsy Photos News: A Florida law restricting access to autopsy photos is hurting medical examiners and could hinder criminal investigations, according to affidavits filed in a challenge to the law. The law was passed last year at the urging of the widow of Dale Earnhardt, who died in a crash on the final lap of last year's Daytona 500. It makes it a felony punishable by five years in prison and a $5,000 fine to view or copy autopsy photos without a court order. The law is being challenged in Broward County by the Orlando Sentinel; its sister paper in Fort Lauderdale, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel; four Florida newspapers owned by The New York Times Co. - The Gainesville Sun, The Ledger in Lakeland, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, The Star-Banner in Ocala - and The Tampa Tribune and its affiliate, WFLA-TV. The case has been set for arguments Feb. 5 before Broward Circuit Judge Leroy Moe.(That's Racin'/AP)(1-10-2002)

  • Autopsy Photos News: [Florida] Gov. Jeb Bush has renewed his support for a law exempting autopsy photographs from Florida's public-records law. The governor outlined his views Dec. 21 in a friend-of-the-court brief for a pending lawsuit challenging the exemption's constitutionality. The Independent Florida Alligator, a student newspaper at the University of Florida, sued the state after legislators responded to pleas by NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt's widow in March and rushed the exemption into law in record time. Bush thinks the law protects victims' families' privacy and upholds the state Legislature's right to exempt "particular records from public access when a competing public policy outweighs the right of access," according to the brief.(Orlando Sentinel)(12-29-2001)

  • Autopsy Photos News: Five journalism advocacy organizations are asking a state appeals court to declare unconstitutional a law limiting access to autopsy photos. The Florida Legislature passed the law in March, weeks after the death of NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt in a last-lap crash in the season-opening Daytona 500. The groups' brief, filed with the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach on Monday, supports the University of Florida student newspaper's attempt at having the law struck down.(ESPN/AP)(11-19-2001)

  • Autopsy Photos UPDATE: Citing a loophole in a law named for racecar driver Dale Earnhardt, Volusia County's medical examiner on Friday sought access to autopsy photos and videotapes so they can be used for education and training. The motion filed late Friday afternoon asks for court permission to use post-mortem photos and videotapes at an upcoming conference of medical examiners in Volusia County. The request did not specify which autopsy photos Dr. Thomas Beaver wants to use at the conference, which begins Oct. 31, but they will not include Earnhardt's. A hearing on the request has not been scheduled(Orlando Sentinel)(10-14-2001)
    UPDATE: The attorney for a student-run newspaper filed an appeal Tuesday with the 5th District Court of Appeal, hoping to overturn a judge's ruling denying it and two other parties access to autopsy photos of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, who died in February's Daytona 500. The appeal was filed by Miami attorney Tom Julin on behalf of Gainesville's Independent Florida Alligator. It wants the appeals court to overturn Circuit Judge Joseph Will's June 13 ruling upholding the constitutionality of a new state law and barring the newspaper from gaining direct access to the photos.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(10-17-2001)

  • Papers at it again: The Orlando Sentinel and its sister paper in Fort Lauderdale asked a judge Wednesday to declare unconstitutional the new state law exempting autopsy photos from Florida's public records law. In a motion filed in Broward Circuit Court, the Sentinel and South Florida Sun-Sentinel argue that the statute adopted after the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt is unjustified, overly broad and fails to accomplish its stated purpose. Lawmakers in March made it a felony to review, copy or distribute autopsy photos without a judge's OK. Judges can grant permission only for good cause.(That's Racin')(8-30-2001)

  • Autopsy Photo News: The Independent Florida Alligator filed notice Tuesday that it will appeal a judge's decision to keep the Dale Earnhardt autopsy photos out of the public domain. In its appeal, the newspaper will argue to the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach that the Florida Legislature violated due process by creating a retroactive exemption to the state's open records law for autopsy photos. In addition, the newspaper will argue that the exemption is too broad and that the trial judge erred by granting a temporary injunction prohibiting the autopsy photos from being made by public, said Tom Julin, an attorney for the newspaper(Orlando Sentinel)(8-7-2001)

  • Earnhardt Report Date Pushed Back: NASCAR president Mike Helton said the much-anticipated accident report from the crash that killed Earnhardt at Daytona in February won't be finished for several weeks. NASCAR initially said the report would be concluded in early August, perhaps before the Brickyard 400. "We're certainly into the middle of August now (before the release)," Helton said during Brickyard testing at IMS. "It might go to the end of the month, too." Helton confirmed that the sanctioning body conducted an extensive accident re-creation last week at Daytona International Speedway, although he would not elaborate on the session or discuss the findings that came from it. NASCAR might not be able to pinpoint what killed Earnhardt, given the many elements involved, including the impact of the crash, the driver's severed seat belt and the lack of a head-and-neck support system(Indianapolis Star)(7-27-2001)

  • Autopsy Photo Update: Medical examiners don't need a judge's approval to use autopsy photos in training public officials such as police, but they can't use them in private universities, Attorney General Bob Butterworth said Friday in a legal opinion. Left unclear is whether autopsy photos can be used in classes at public universities under the so-called "Dale Earnhardt law" that bars release of autopsy pictures in most cases. Hillsborough County officials requested the attorney general's interpretation of the law, seeking clarification on how it would affect the county medical examiner's teaching duties. The law was passed this spring after Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500 in February. His widow sought to block newspapers and Websites from gaining access to the racing legend's autopsy photos, citing the trauma her family would suffer. A judge has upheld the law, and another judge has denied newspapers' efforts to obtain the photos under the new law(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-14-2001)

  • Autopsy photo law is upheld: A Volusia Circuit Court judge, in a passionate defense of personal privacy, issued a final order Monday barring a student-run newspaper and a Web site operator from examining or copying Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos. The ruling by Circuit Judge Joseph Will formalizes a decision he announced June 13 after a three-day trial over access to the photos. It upholds the constitutionality of a new state law barring access to autopsy photos without judicial permission.(Orlando Sentinel)(7-10-2001)

  • Earnhardt Photos News: Courtroom arguments about Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos may have ended for now, but the paper war between lawyers for the stock-car driver’s widow and a student-run newspaper rages on. Tom Julin, attorney for the Independent Florida Alligator, is disputing parts of a proposed 17-page court order submitted Wednesday by Teresa Earnhardt’s lawyers. The document is supposed to express the findings of Circuit Judge Joseph Will, who ruled last week that the Alligator and a DeLand Web site operator should not be allowed to see the pictures.(That's Racin')(6-21-2001)

  • Newspaper Threatened:: Death threats, vandalism and lost advertising are what the student newspaper at the University of Florida has endured since trying to gain access to Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photographs. The Independent Florida Alligator went to court this week in Daytona Beach for permission to view photos of the NASCAR legend, who was killed Feb. 18 in a crash at the Daytona 500. On Wednesday, a judge ruled they would remain sealed under a new state law prohibiting release of autopsy photos without a judge's OK. Most of the death threats to editors at the Alligator have come in the form of e-mails. Some threatened to kill the editors and their families and post their pictures on the Internet.(Orlando Sentinel)(6-16-2001)

  • Autopsy Photo Update - Ruling Upheld: Lawyers seeking access to Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos said Wednesday that allowing public review of the photos could prevent future racing deaths. "We want a safer future where a great good has been served," said Tom Julin, an attorney for the University of Florida's student publication, the Independent Florida Alligator. "We want more information because we want to stop these deaths from happening." Julin spoke during closing arguments at a hearing in which the Alligator and a Web site are seeking access to the autopsy photos of the racing legend, who was killed in a last-lap crash at the Daytona 500 in February.(That's Racin'/AP)
    AND A judge ruled Wednesday that Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos cannot be made public under a new state law that restricts access to autopsy images. "In this particular case, the release constitutes a serious invasion of the highest degree. There is no question it's harmful, it's unspeakable," said Circuit Judge Joseph Will.(Orlando Sentinel/AP)(6-13-2001)

  • Teresa to Testify UPDATE 4 Law Upheld/Teresa Testify's: Dale Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, is expected to testify Monday, June 11th at a much-anticipated hearing June 11 to decide whether Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos should be open to public inspection. Teresa, in February won an injunction closing the photos and subsequently won passage of a state law to close all such photos. Teresa Earnhardt has maintained that she sought the injunction to protect her privacy and that of her family(FSN's Totally NASCAR)(6-7-2001)
    UPDATE: It's looking more and more like NASCAR president Mike Helton will not be taking the witness stand in Monday's hearing to decide whether Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos should be open to public inspection. An attorney involved says processors have tried for 10 days to serve the Helton with a subpoena and haven't been able to track him down(CNN/SI) and story on Teresa at the Daytona Beach Journal(6-9-2001)
    UPDATE 2: A judge upheld a new Florida law on Monday that was crafted to seal autopsy photos of racing legend Dale Earnhardt, rejecting arguments that it unfairly prevented access to public information. Circuit Judge Joseph Will said the law was "valid and constitutional" in upholding the law passed by the Florida Legislature in March making it a felony to release autopsy photos without a judge's permission. Previously, such photos had been public record. Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, had no visible reaction when the decision was read, but she did whisper "Thank you" to her attorneys. On Tuesday, the judge will hear testimony aimed at reversing his order sealing the photos issued four days after the racer's death. Teresa Earnhardt had sought the order, saying her family's privacy would be violated if the photos were released. She was expected to testify Tuesday. The new law not only forbids copying of autopsy photos and records, but also prevents inspecting the records.(Orlando Sentinel)(6-11-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Dale Earnhardt's widow testified Tuesday that she has tried to stop the public release of her husband's autopsy photos to spare her family "painful emotional distress. The photographs are humiliating, disgusting and negative," Teresa Earnhardt said. "That could be nothing but harmful and painful to anyone involved with my family, my company, our fans, anyone." Appearing slightly irritated under questioning from opposing lawyers, Earnhardt said she filed a lawsuit blocking the release of the photos to spare her family from "humiliation and harm." She said NASCAR didn't influence her decision. She also said the decision had nothing to do with her interest in protecting her company, Dale Earnhardt Inc., and Earnhardt's image as a revenue source. "I don't think it has anything to do with sales. I think it has to do with personal feelings and privacy," Earnhardt said. "It would affect our state of minds because we would be personally harmed."(That's Racin'/AP)(6-12-2001)
    UPDATE: see column at the Daytona Beach News Journal(6-13-2001)

  • Dr Testifies about Autopsy Photos and NASCAR - Speedway doctor: Earnhardt photos graphic, disturbing AND threatened?: The chief emergency doctor at Daytona International Speedway told attorneys Monday that NASCAR never influenced him to say that a broken seat belt led to Dale Earnhardt's death at the Daytona 500. But an attorney for a student-run newspaper that wants access to Earnhardt's autopsy photos maintained that NASCAR officials put Dr. Steve Bohannon in a position in which he couldn't say anything else. "NASCAR never told me what to say or what not to say," Bohannon said. "I got thrown into the public spotlight to help NASCAR explain to the media this terrible event that transpired. I don't feel like I've done anything wrong." At a conference before Bohannon's deposition, Circuit Judge Joseph Will denied a request by Teresa Earnhardt's attorneys to limit the questions to privacy issues. Earnhardt's attorneys wanted to bar questions about NASCAR's possible role, which they characterized as a "news-gathering witch hunt."(Orlando Sentinel) AND A Daytona International Speedway doctor testified in a deposition Monday that the Dale Earnhardt autopsy photos were very graphic and disturbing. Dr. Steve Bohannon, one of the doctors who worked on Earnhardt after his fatal crash Feb. 18, was the only person outside Volusia County's medical examiner's office who viewed the photos before they were sealed. He told attorneys on Monday that he talked to Earnhardt's widow about a week after she filed a lawsuit to stop the photos from being made public. He described the photos to Teresa Earnhardt as graphic and said they showed Earnhardt's naked body and its dissection. Full AP story at CBS Sportsline
    AND threatened? Dr. Steve Bohannon, one of the first physicians to reach race car driver Dale Earnhardt after his fatal wreck, said Monday the Orlando Sentinel bent the rules of journalism by threatening him to get an interview. Two attorneys for the Sentinel deny his accusations, but give conflicting accounts of what happened. Full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal: Official: physician at Earnhardt wreck threatened by newspaper(6-5-2001)

  • More on the Autopsy Photos UPDATE: The battle over Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos comes down to the public's right to know vs. the media's attempt to sensationalize the racing icon's death, according to lawyers who laid out their legal arguments Tuesday. Attorneys for Earnhardt's widow said that close family members have "a constitutional right to privacy to prevent the disclosure" of autopsy photos. They also accused the University of Florida's student-run newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator, and the owner of a DeLand-based Web site of seeking the photos "to grab public attention and to sell newspapers, all of which would come at the expense of the Earnhardt family."(actually the Alligator is a free publication)(Orlando Sentinel) AND Lawyers for the widow of Dale Earnhardt urged a judge Tuesday to keep an injunction in place barring the public release of the race driver's autopsy photos. But an attorney for The Independent Florida Alligator, a student newspaper at the University of Florida that is seeking to dissolve the injunction, countered that the state has no right to keep the photos sealed. Circuit Judge Joseph Will in Daytona Beach is scheduled to hear oral arguments June 11 over whether the autopsy photos should be made public. The judge also has said he will use the case to test the constitutionality of a new state law that exempts autopsy photos from Florida's liberal open records law(AP/CNN/SI)(5-30-2001)
    UPDATE: Florida's new law restricting access to autopsy photos properly balances the public's right to open records and the privacy rights of survivors, Gov. Jeb Bush said in legal arguments filed Wednesday. Bush filed a friend-of-the-court brief in defense of the Earnhardt Family Protection Act, which is being challenged in Volusia Circuit Court by the Independent Florida Alligator newspaper in Gainesville.(Orlando Sentinel)(5-31-2001) NOTE: anyone tiring of the Autopsy stories and updates, don't complain to me, just bypass the story, they are important and will be posted, don't like it? oh well.......

  • Autopsy Photos News: Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will send his legal team here(Daytona Beach) to fight for a new law that seals autopsy photos from public view. Circuit Judge Joseph Will on Thursday gave the governor's attorneys the go-ahead to attend hearings June 11-12 dealing with the constitutionality of the Earnhardt Family Protection Act, which prohibits anyone from viewing autopsy photos without a court order. Attorneys for Bush are expected to attend the hearing at the Courthouse Annex on his behalf. This hearing and others stem from Teresa Earnhardt's lawsuit against the Volusia County Medical Examiner seeking to prohibit public access to her husband's autopsy photos. Attorneys for Teresa Earnhardt filed legal papers Thursday objecting to Dr. Steve Bohannon giving a deposition before the hearing. They contend his testimony is not relevant and is designed to generate more publicity. (Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-25-2001)

  • Website Sued: Autopsy photos depicting the bloody body of rookie racecar driver Rodney Orr still linger on the Internet. His father, Beacher Orr, is suing the man responsible. A lawsuit making its way through circuit court in Flagler County could eventually force Michael Uribe, the president of a DeLand Web site, to remove the photos and pay punitive damages to the Orr family. Daytona Beach attorney Jon Kaney, who specializes in First Amendment issues, said case law leans in Orr's favor. Less than a day before Gov. Jeb Bush signed a state law that would outlaw them, Uribe published 38 graphic autopsy photos of Orr either naked or in bloodied racing gear. He said the photos represent the violence NASCAR tries to hide. Uribe also published 48 pictures of veteran driver Neil Bonnett. The two drivers were killed within three days of each other during practice sessions for the Daytona 500 in 1994. Days after the posting, the company hosting Uribe's Web site and several of his advertisers bailed out. Uribe said he later found another company to host his Web site(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-24-2001)

  • Teresa Wants Judge to View Photos: Teresa Earnhardt on Tuesday asked a Volusia(FL) Circuit Court judge to look at her husband's autopsy photos in the coming weeks so the judge will understand their "gruesome, personal and offensive nature." Dale Earnhardt's widow wants Judge Joseph Will to examine the photos at the Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office, where they have been held since Earnhardt died in February on the final lap of the Daytona 500. Teresa Earnhardt made the request in preparation for a June 11 hearing to decide whether the University of Florida student-run Independent Florida Alligator and DeLand-based Web-site owner Michael Uribe can have access to the photos.(Orlando Sentinel)(5-23-2001)

  • Teresa Earnhardt may be Questioned: The widow of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt can be questioned about her motives for wanting the autopsy photos of her late husband sealed, a judge ruled Tuesday. Attorneys for a student newspaper trying to get access to the photos will ask Teresa Earnhardt if NASCAR played a role in her decision to get the photos temporarily sealed. An attorney for The Independent Florida Alligator, said he wants to question whether Mrs. Earnhardt had conversations with NASCAR president Mike Helton about the photos between the time of Earnhardt's death and when the photos were sealed four days later. Attorneys for Mrs. Earnhardt objected to that line of questioning. A hearing is scheduled for June 11. It will also allow a judge to decide the constitutionality of the new state law restricting access to autopsy photos(ESPN/AP)(5-15-2001)

  • Autopsy Photos - more: A court order intended to protect the privacy of Dale Earnhardt's family(and other families) may make it harder for Daytona Beach police to complete their investigation into the crash that killed Earnhardt(at the Daytona 500). The Feb. 22 order issued by Circuit Judge Joseph Will sealed not only autopsy photos of Earnhardt, but also the photos of the inside of his wrecked car that were taken by the Volusia County's Medical Examiner's Office. Daytona Beach police may have to go to court to get the photos(Orlando Sentinel)(5-9-2001)

  • Autopsy Photo Update: An appeals court denied a Web site operator access to Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos. Michael Uribe, owner of a DeLand-based Web site, wanted to overturn a lower court's decision barring the release of photos(That's Racin'/AP)(5-9-2001)

  • Earnhardt's Seatbelt OK? UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt’s seat belt did not break during his fatal crash at the Daytona 500, according to one of the first rescuers to come to his aid. Tommy Propst, a veteran Orange County firefighter and emergency medical technician, said he found the NASCAR legend strapped inside his crumpled car in the infield of Daytona International Speedway. Propst said the seat belt was tight enough that he had to pull the seat-belt buckle repeatedly before it popped open. "Somebody hollered, ‘I’ll cut it.’ I said, ‘No, let me try it.’ I reached over, pulled, and I had to really jerk. I pulled hard, and that’s when it come open," Propst told the Orlando Sentinel. "If it would have been broke, the whole thing would have come open because I was jerking. . . . It was in one piece at the time." Propst’s account breaks two months of silence by the men and women who tried to save Earnhardt. To this day, Propst said, he has never been questioned by anyone from NASCAR. NASCAR officials Saturday refused to respond to Propst’s statements.(Orlando Sentinel)
    UPDATE: The NASCAR Winston Cup series was racing in Fontana, Calif., where director Gary Nelson disagreed with Propst's account. NASCAR has refused to display the seat belt and hasn't said if the results of its own investigation by unidentified experts will be made public. The probe is expected to last throughout the summer. "I don't know of anybody that does a big investigation and tells the world their conclusions on a daily basis until the investigation is concluded," NASCAR chairman Bill France told the AP.(That's Racin'/AP)(4-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: better explainations at NASCAR.com: NASCAR disagrees with seat belt claim(4-30-2001)
    UPDATE 3: The woman who climbed into Dale Earnhardt's car after his fatal crash at the Daytona 500 said Monday that she was too busy trying to save him to tell whether the seat belt was broken. But Patti Dobler, a member of the rescue crew at Daytona International Speedway, said the man with the best view was Orange County firefighter Tommy Propst, who continued to insist Monday that Earnhardt's five-point safety harness was intact after Earnhardt's Chevrolet hit the track wall.(Orlando Sentinel)(5-1-2001)

  • Autopsy Photos: Brevard County(FL) authorities investigating the death of a woman whose body washed ashore got a court order Friday so they could use an autopsy photo to help identify the body. Otherwise, they feared they would run afoul of the Earnhardt Family Protection Act, which was intended to shield such photos from public view. Investigators said the hassle cost them hours they could have used to track down the identity of the victim whose body was found near Melbourne Beach on Thursday morning. The new law, hastily passed by the Legislature after the Feb. 18 death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, bars medical examiners from distributing autopsy photos without a judge's permission(full story at the Orlando Sentinel)(4-28-2001)

  • More Join in Photo hunt: Six news organizations around Florida asked a Broward County judge to include them in two newspapers' challenge of a new state law banning the viewing of autopsy photos without permission. The Tampa Tribune, its TV affiliate, WFLA-TV, The Gainesville Sun, The Ledger of Lakeland, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and the Ocala Star-Banner want to join a lawsuit filed by the Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that questions the constitutionality of the new law, said Gregg D. Thomas, attorney for the new parties.(That's Racin'/AP)(4-19-2001)

  • Alabama Photo Law: Spurred by the Dale Earnhardt autopsy photo controversy in Florida, Alabama legislators have begun the process of making such photos off limits to the public in this state as well. Earlier this month, Rep. Steve Hurst (D-Talladega) introduced House Bill 722 as a measure to make “autopsy records, photographs and video recordings exempt from public record law.” And last week Gerald Dial (D-Lineville) introduced a similar bill in the Senate that would make the unauthorized release of autopsy photos a felony carrying a two- to five-year prison term and up to a $5,000 fine. If passed by the end of this legislative session May 21, the law would allow access to autopsy photos by court order only.(Anniston Star)(4-16-2001)

  • Earnhardt Autopsy Photos - continued: A University of Florida student newspaper Thursday filed a new request to see the Dale Earnhardt autopsy photos. The new cross-claim filed by the Independent Florida Alligator against the Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office addresses developments in the case that weren't present when the original request was filed last month. A Deland-based Web site also is seeking access to the autopsy photos. The new cross-claim challenges the constitutionality of a state law passed late last month restricting access to autopsy photos and argues that it can't be applied retroactively to the Earnhardt autopsy photos(CNN/SI/AP)(4-13-2001)

  • Photo Privacy Issues takes step backwards UPDATE: A judge allowed a student newspaper to challenge the sealing of the Dale Earnhardt autopsy photos and test the constitutionality of a new law that restricts access to such images. Circuit Judge Joseph Will said Thursday he wants to try to answer the many legal questions that remain on whether the public has the right to view autopsy photos. The NASCAR legend's widow, Teresa Earnhardt, protested the decision. Allowing the challenge negates a compromise reached with the Orlando Sentinel to permanently seal the autopsy photos after an independent medical expert had viewed them and written a report, her lawyers argued. "Is she basically back to square one with her privacy rights?" Earnhardt attorney Judson Graves asked the judge. The judge responded, "Yes, I think so."(AP/ESPN)(4-5-2001)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt's widow appealed again to keep her husband's autopsy photos private, fearing they will wind up on the Internet for everyone to see. "I want to let the NASCAR community and the people of Florida know just how much pain this ordeal is causing my family," Teresa Earnhardt said in a statement released at Martinsville Speedway, site of Sunday's race. (That's Racin'/AP)(4-9-2001)

  • Good for him: Amazon.com and another Web company have pulled advertisements from the DeLand-based(Florida) Web site that posted autopsy photographs of two dead NASCAR drivers. The companies said they wanted nothing to do with the Web site, which has been virtually inaccessible all week. Operator Michael Uribe said Wednesday that visitors overloaded the site trying to see pictures of Rodney Orr and Neil Bonnett, who died at the Daytona International Speedway in 1994. Uribe continues to seek access to recent autopsy photos of NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt, although he refuses to say whether he would post those pictures online. A judge in Volusia County has scheduled a hearing today on whether Uribe and the University of Florida’s student newspaper can argue for an opportunity to see the images.(Orlando Sentinel)(4-5-2001)

  • Photo Fight: NASCAR might have convinced Dale Earnhardt's widow to have the racing star's autopsy photos sealed to protect itself against a wrongful death lawsuit, an attorney for a newspaper seeking access to the images suggested yesterday. Attorney Tom Julin, in a memorandum filed in Volusia County Circuit Court, also argued that legislation passed last week restricting public access to all autopsy photos is unconstitutional and can't be applied retroactively to the Earnhardt case. Julin is representing the Gainesville-based student newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator, in its efforts to view the photos. A hearing on the motions is scheduled for tomorrow(see full AP story at the ESPN site)(4-4-2001)

  • Autopsy Photos Bill UPDATE 2: If everything goes right Thursday for backers of legislation to limit access to autopsy photos in Florida, the measure could be law by nightfall. The measure (CS-SB 1356) before the Senate would prevent members of the public and media from viewing anyone's autopsy photos unless they can convince a judge there is good cause to see them. The House has already passed a similar proposal. Gov Jeb Bush, who has already said he supports the measure, is in town for a Cabinet meeting and has time on his schedule in the afternoon to handle a bill signing. Lawmakers were working on travel arrangements to have Teresa Earnhardt attend the signing(CNN/AP)(3-29-2001)
    UPDATE: Spurred on by fans of racing star Dale Earnhardt, the Florida Senate voted 40-0 Thursday to close autopsy photos from public record. The bill, which has already passed the Florida House, now goes to Gov. Jeb Bush. He was expected to sign it later Thursday with Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, looking on. She led the public drive for the bill, saying she wanted to protect her family's privacy. The new law would bar public access to all autopsy photos unless a judge approves the release. Such photos have been open records as part of Florida's Sunshine Law. Similar legislation is awaiting the governor's signature in Georgia and is still under consideration in South Carolina.(That's Racin'/AP) AND Standing beside Dale Earnhardt's widow, Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill Thursday to keep autopsy photos closed to the public unless a judge approves their release. The law sprang from an outcry over the Orlando Sentinel's request to see Earnhardt's autopsy photos. Teresa Earnhardt led the protests, saying she wanted to protect her family's privacy. The measure, passed unanimously in the Senate on Thursday, makes it a felony to improperly release the records, with a maximum sentence of five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.(That's Racin'/AP)
    UPDATE 2 others posted: On the day when Teresa Earnhardt flew to the Florida state capitol to witness the signing of a bill designed to protect the autopsy photographs of her late husband, the NASCAR world was sent reeling by news that autopsy pictures of two deceased NASCAR drivers had been posted on the World Wide Web. On Thursday, NASCAR reported that a Web site owned by Michael Uribe of DeLand, Florida, had published 34 autopsy pictures of NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Neil Bonnett and Rodney Orr on his Internet Web site(NASCAR.com)(3-29-2001)

  • Earnhardt Autopsy Photo News: The (Florida) Senate slowed down the effort to exempt autopsy photos from the state's open-records law Tuesday, delaying final passage of the bill drawn after the death of race car driver Dale Earnhardt at Daytona Intl Speedway.(Orlando Sentinel)(3-27-2001)

  • Expert Chosen to Review Photos UPDATE 2:: A Duke University professor who specializes in neck injury research has been chosen by a mediator to evaluate the fatal injuries of Dale Earnhardt. Barry S. Myers, a physician who also has a degree in mechanical engineering, will study the various reports and photographs related to Earnhardt's injuries. The selection of a medical expert was part of an agreement reached last week between Teresa Earnhardt and the Orlando Sentinel, which has been seeking such an evaluation by an an independent medical expert. At a Thursday afternoon press conference in Daytona Beach, Sentinel attorneys praised the selection of Myers and said there were no changes to the agreement reached last week with Earnhardt's widow, Teresa.(Orlando Sentinel)(3-22-2001)
    UPDATE: Duke's Dr. Barry Myers will review photos of Dale Earnhardt's autopsy today in Daytona Beach, Fla., and he is to issue a report on what might have caused his death. NASCAR officials opposed allowing any such outside examination. One of the issues is whether the HANS head restraint might have saved Earnhardt. NASCAR officials have had specialists investigating Earnhardt's broken seat belt, apparently trying to simulate the tearing.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-26-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Dr. Barry Myers, a Duke University crash expert, spent two hours inside the Volusia County medical examiner's office studying 14 slides, 46 digital images on a computer and other reports related to the autopsy of Dale Earnhardt. He said he would issue a report on the cause of death and type of head injuries Earnhardt suffered within weeks(That's Racin'/AP)(3-27-2001)

  • Bill Approved UPDATE more: A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill written on behalf of Dale Earnhardt's widow that would keep autopsy photos sealed. The legislation is needed to keep autopsy photos of the NASCAR driver and others off of Web sites like the Gallery of the Grotesque, Death n Dementia, Celebrity Morgue, Faces of Death and the Dead Body Picture Page, said bill sponsor Sen. Jim King(CNN/AP), see more columns at the Daytona Beach News Journal: Web site seeks audio tapes from Dale Earnhardt autopsy(3-22-2001)
    UPDATE: An attorney for the Volusia County medical examiner asked a judge Friday to free the county from obeying parts of an agreement that limits access to the Dale Earnhardt autopsy photos. Portions of the agreement "are illegal and void ... unless the law provides for an exemption," Volusia County Attorney Dan Eckert said in a motion. "The court's approval of a settlement agreement cannot create an exemption where one does not exist by statute." The president of a Web site and an independent student newspaper at the University of Florida, the Independent Florida Alligator, are pursuing their own court cases for access to the photos. A hearing for the Alligator is set for April 5. On Friday, WebsiteCity president Michael Uribe asked to see 33 images taken during the Earnhardt autopsy that followed his Feb. 18 fatal crash at the Daytona 500.(That's Racin'/AP)(3-24-2001)

  • Expert Chosen to Review Photos: A Duke University professor who specializes in neck injury research has been chosen by a mediator to evaluate the fatal injuries of Dale Earnhardt. Barry S. Myers, a physician who also has a degree in mechanical engineering, will study the various reports and photographs related to Earnhardt's injuries. The selection of a medical expert was part of an agreement reached last week between Teresa Earnhardt and the Orlando Sentinel, which has been seeking such an evaluation by an an independent medical expert. At a Thursday afternoon press conference in Daytona Beach, Sentinel attorneys praised the selection of Myers and said there were no changes to the agreement reached last week with Earnhardt's widow, Teresa.(Orlando Sentinel)(3-22-2001)
  • Autopsy Photos Examined by NASCAR UPDATE 3 more mediation: A medical expert brought in by NASCAR has analyzed the photos of Dale Earnhardt's autopsy, but officials have declined to share what, if any, conclusions were reached. The photos analyzed by NASCAR's expert are the ones the driver's widow, Teresa, fought to keep from being reviewed by an independent expert hired by a Florida newspaper. Helton and Winston Cup series directory Gary Nelson fielded questions from reporters Saturday at Darlington Raceway, but did not announce any findings from the NASCAR-run investigation into Earnhardt's crash. The court-appointed expert will examine the photos and video from the autopsy and report findings on cause of death, whether there was evidence of head whip or contact with the steering wheel, and whether there was evidence of a blow to the top of Earnhardt's head. After that review, photos and videotape of the autopsy will be permanently sealed.(That's Racin')
    UPDATE: A Volusia County spokesman late Sunday contradicted an announcement by NASCAR's president that its expert has studied Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photos. On Saturday NASCAR president Mike Helton said at a press conference that it has had an expert review the photos and is completing its own investigation into Earnhardt's death. "The autopsy photographs have not been released nor have they been viewed by anyone other than the medical examiner's office," said Volusia spokesman David Byron. "No one has the autopsy photographs; if they do it will certainly be a shock to me."(more at the Orlando Sentinel) AND A student-run newspaper has stepped into the dispute over the release of Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos, filing a court motion stating its desire to see the pictures. The Gainesville-based Independent Florida Alligator, which is run by University of Florida students but isn't an official university publication, filed a motion to intervene in a Daytona Beach court on Friday(email the editor at: jbrown@alligator.org.(Orlando Sentinel)
    UPDATE 2: hearing this "The Sentinel reported on March 19th that no one from NASCAR, or its representatives, had contact with Volusia County in regards to the photos. This report, which was based on contact with David Byron of the Volusia County Public Information Office, turned out to be in error as Byron had not been notified of the fact that Dr. Bohannon had viewed the photos on February 21st - or one day before the court ordered injunction went into effect. "I don't know how it (the communication error) happened, but it did," said Byron when contacted by phone late on the 19th.(upcoming issue of Speedway Scene)(3-19-2001)
    UPDATE 3: After insisting for weeks that no one had been allowed to view the autopsy photos of racing legend Dale Earnhardt, Volusia County officials admitted Monday that the pictures had not been kept private. Dr. Steve Bohannon, director of emergency medical services at the Daytona International Speedway, reviewed photos a day before they were sealed by a judge, county officials said. Two days later, NASCAR, the stock car racing organization, presented Bohannon at a North Carolina press conference as its medical expert on how Earnhardt died during the Feb. 18 Daytona 500. A visitor log from the Medical Examiner's Office, obtained Monday by the Sentinel, shows that Bohannon looked at the photos for about 35 minutes on Feb. 21 -- three days after Earnhardt died in the final lap of the 500-mile race.(Orlando Sentinel)(3-20-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Lawyers for Dale Earnhardt's widow and the Orlando Sentinel were headed back to mediation four days after they reached an agreement over access to the racing star's autopsy photos. The mediation will allow the newspaper to address its concerns about a Daytona International Speedway doctor having viewed the photos before they were sealed, Sentinel attorney David Bralow said Tuesday(CBS/AP)(3-21-2001)

  • Earnhardt Autopsy Photos UPDATE 7 an Agreement: A compromise is emerging in the Legislature that would allow the public to view autopsy photographs, such as those sought by the Orlando Sentinel in the Dale Earnhardt case, but prohibit copying of such pictures without a judge's permission. The compromise offered by Sen. Locke Burt, R-Ormond Beach, faces opposition from Jim King, another key Republican senator who wants the autopsy photos to remain private(Orlando Sentinel) AND The sponsor of legislation that would make it a felony to release autopsy photos of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt said Monday the bill will run into some tough questioning. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee is scheduled to hear the initial testimony on the measure Tuesday in the Florida Legislature which has created some of thenation's strongest open government and public records laws(Daytona Beach News Journal)
    UPDATE: The public would need a judge's approval to see autopsy photos under a bill approved Tuesday by a Senate committee, a measure sought by Dale Earnhardt's widow in an attempt to block a newspaper's effort to see pictures of the NASCAR driver's autopsy. The bill won unanimous approval from the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, its first step to becoming a law(CNN/SI/AP)
    UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt's widow and Orlando Sentinel lawyers were ordered Tuesday to meet to try to resolve their dispute over autopsy photos of the NASCAR great. The judge's order came as a Florida Senate committee unanimously approved a bill that would restrict the public's access to autopsy photos(CNN/SI/AP)(3-14-2001)
    UPDATE 3: The courtroom fight over public access to Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy pictures could be resolved today if a mediator can help the feuding parties reach a compromise. The publisher and editor of the Orlando Sentinel are meeting with the widow of the legendary stock car racer during a court-ordered, closed-door session at the Volusia County Courthouse Annex in Daytona Beach. The mission: Balance the newspaper’s request for access to the photographs against the Earnhardt family’s desire for privacy(Orlando Sentinel)
    AND: Dale Earnhardt's widow arrived for a meeting Thursday with Orlando Sentinel executives to try to work out her family's dispute with the newspaper on whether autopsy photos of the racing great should be made public.(That's Racin')(3-15-2001)
    UPDATE 5: A meeting between Dale Earnhardt's widow and the Orlando Sentinel over her efforts to block the newspaper from seeing her husband's autopsy photos ended Thursday with no resolution. The Earnhardt family has cited the case of designer Gianni Versace, who was murdered outside his Miami Beach mansion in 1997. His relatives won a court order permanently sealing his autopsy photos. If no agreement can be reached, the judge will hear the case again on Monday(That's Racin')
    AND Negotiations between Dale Earnhardt's widow, and a newspaper and a Web site seeking access to the NASCAR icon's autopsy photos are set to resume today(That's Racin'/AP)(3-16-2001)
    UPDATE 6: After nearly 18 hours of negotiation, representatives of the Earnhardt family and the Orlando Sentinel had not reached an agreement Friday by 3:30pm/et on a solution to a dispute over viewing the late Dale Earnhardt’s autopsy photographs. Volusia County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Will has scheduled a formal hearing on the case for Monday, but ordered the two sides to attend the mediation session and "stay here until you resolve (the dispute) or are absolutely certain you cannot."(NASCAR.com)(3-16-2001)

  • Fuel the Fire: a website owner is also looking for access to the photos to post on his website, I won't post the website, it's not worth looking at anyway, but the guy, Michael Uribe (websitecity@hotmail.com), was at the hearing on Thursday and when asked Tuesday by the judge why he wanted access to the photos, Uribe said, "Whatever's legal." He didn't elaborate.(That's Racin')(3-16-2001)
    UPDATE 7 - an AGREEMENT: Lawyers for Dale Earnhardt's widow and the Orlando Sentinel agreed Friday to allow an independent expert to see the autopsy photos of the racing great before they're permanently sealed. Court-appointed mediator John Upchurch will choose the medical expert who will view the photos. Representatives of the Sentinel will be allowed to ask the expert three specific questions concerning Earnhardt's head injuries and cause of death. The photos will then be sealed. Teresa Earnhardt and Sentinel executives were not present at the talks Friday, but had attended Thursday's negotiations. Her lawyer, Thom Rumberger, said she was pleased with the agreement. The president of a Web site who joined a lawsuit seeking access to the photos was not invited to Friday's negotiations and is not part of the settlement. Michael Uribe had promised to fight for unfettered access to the photos, even if the Sentinel and Mrs. Earnhardt's attorneys reached a settlement(That's Racin'/AP) The three questions are: What was the cause of death? Was it due to head whiplash or hitting the steering wheel? Did Earnhardt incur impact on the top of his head?(3-16-2001)

  • NASCAR Statement: The following is a statement from Bill France, NASCAR's Chairman of the Board: "NASCAR fans have always been dedicated, loyal and supportive of their heroes. The support that has been shown the past couple of weeks from NASCAR fans over the issue regarding the autopsy photographs of Dale Earnhardt proves to all of us the strong bond between our competitors and the fans. We want to thank the fans for their continued support of both NASCAR and Teresa Earnhardt in this matter."(NASCAR PR)(3-15-2001)

  • NASCAR Statement on Earnhardt Photos UPDATE Dr says OK: "NASCAR appreciates the efforts of legislators who are attempting to protect the rights of the Earnhardt family," thre statement reads. "It is our desire that the Earnhardt family be protected from needless and continued hardship. NASCAR will continue to lend its support to the Earnhardt family."(That's Racin')(3-11-2001)
    UPDATE: A Daytona International Speedway doctor thinks experts should be allowed to examine autopsy photos of Dale Earnhardt to answer questions about his death. Dr. Steve Bohannon's statement bolsters the position of the Orlando Sentinel, which has been criticized by Earnhardt's widow and race fans for seeking access to the photos(That's Racin'/AP)(3-12-2001)

  • Man may have Autopsy photos UPDATE 2: Lawyers battling over whether Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos are public record were told by a judge that an Oak Hill(FL) man may have copies of some of the pictures. Circuit Judge Joseph Will said in a letter Wednesday to lawyers for both Teresa Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt's widow, and The Orlando Sentinel that his office received an anonymous phone call from someone claiming that a man had some of the photos in his house. The caller said the man planned to distribute the photographs, Will's letter noted. The judge ordered police to man's home, located roughly 27 miles south of Daytona Beach. The man told Volusia County Sheriff's deputies that he had one photo but kept it for sentimental reasons and never intended to make it public. Police did not take the photo from the home, the man said. Medical examiner Thomas Beaver said the photo might be a fake, saying that the actual autopsy photographs were taken with a digital camera, saved on a compact disk and sealed in a vault.(That's Racin'/AP)(3-8-2001)
    UPDATE: An Oak Hill, FL, man told ESPN Thursday that he does not have copies of any Dale Earnhardt autopsy photos. That comes one day after a man told the Orlando Sentinel that he received one of the controversial photos from a friend, who told the man he had gotten it from an unidentified employee at the Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office. The medical examiner, Thomas Beaver, told the Orlando newspaper that he doubts the photo, if there is one, is authentic(ESPN/AP)(3-9-2001)
    UPDATE 2 - didn't have photo: Police dropped an investigation into a report that an Oak Hill man received a copy of one of Dale Earnhardt's disputed autopsy photos. Volusia County Sheriff's deputies said Tuesday they were satisfied that the picture owned by Timothy Campbell was not one of Earnhardt's autopsy photos. Campbell told police that a Lake County flea market vendor said he could get copies of the photos(USA Today/AP)()(3-15-2001)

  • Hooiser Times: Request for Earnhardt autopsy has wrong target by Kurt Van der Dussen(3-11-2001)

  • More Support...for the Sentinel: The nation’s largest organization of newspaper editors voiced its support Thursday for efforts by the Orlando Sentinel to allow a medical expert to examine autopsy photos of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. The American Society of Newspaper Editors, whose membership includes more than 500 top editors of newspapers around the country, also criticized Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida legislators who have filed a bill to block access to the photos. The editors said the bill could set "the dangerous precedent of closing autopsy records and doing so retroactively."(Orlando Sentinel)(3-9-2001)

  • Tennessean: Earnhardt's pictures must be studied for future safety by Larry Woody(3-9-2001)

  • Sporting News: Earnhardt investigation is uncomfortable, but necessary by Dave Kindred(3-9-2001)

  • Speaker Feeney Advocates for Personal Privacy Rights (3-8-2001)

  • Hearing Postponed: The Sentinel's request is scheduled for a hearing Thursday before Volusia County Circuit Judge County Joseph Will, who ordered the autopsy photographs sealed Feb. 22. At a hearing at 2 p.m. Wednesday(3-7), Earnhardt's attorneys are expected to ask the judge for more time to prepare
    UPDATE: ESPN2's RPM 2Night reported Wednesday that the hearing has been postponed to March 19th(3-7-2001)

  • Politicians back Earnhardt: State political leaders insisted Wednesday their efforts to prohibit the release of autopsy photographs should have no bearing on NASCAR's considerations to improve safety for its drivers. Four lawmakers with support from Gov. Jeb Bush unveiled legislation to prohibit the release of autopsy photos as public pressure continued mounting to block the Orlando Sentinel's efforts to gain access to NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photographs. Bush said his office has received more than 14,000 e-mails and hundreds of telephone calls from Earnhardt fans in recent days protesting a request by a central Florida newspaper to obtain the autopsy photos.(Orlando Sentinel)(3-7-2001)

  • More Newspapers Join in and Show support to the Sentinel: Four metropolitan newspapers, including the Miami Herald and Tampa Tribune, have joined the Orlando Sentinel's attempt to gain access to autopsy photos of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. The newspapers took the action amid a growing debate over the photos, which the Sentinel wants to examine as part of its inquiry into the crash that killed Earnhardt during the final lap of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. The Sentinel, Times and Chicago Tribune are all owned by Tribune Co. of Chicago. The Sentinel also has received support from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the First Amendment Foundation, The Associated Press Sports Editors, the St. Petersburg Times and two other Tribune newspapers, Newsday on Long Island, N.Y., and The Sun of Baltimore. None is part of the lawsuit(see full story at the Orlando Sentinel)(3-7-2001)

  • Two More Stories:
    Widow rejects proposal for expert to see photos
    Bush joins move to change access law
    (3-7-2001)

  • NASCAR.com: The Internet: Our friend and enemy by Jim Huber

  • Autopsy photos could be sealed: State lawmakers are trying to rush through a bill that would deny public access to autopsy photographs. Their push comes as thousands of Dale Earnhardt fans across the nation wage a campaign against the Orlando Sentinel. The newspaper is seeking a judge's permission Thursday to release autopsy photographs of the legendary NASCAR driver to an independent expert for analysis. Gov. Jeb Bush, House Speaker Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, and other lawmakers have received more than 12,000 e-mails from Earnhardt fans across the nation demanding that they stop the Sentinel.(Orlando Sentinel)(3-6-2001)

  • CNN/SI: Wanting answers - Earnhardt autopsy photos could end controversy by Stephen Thomas(3-6-2001)

  • South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges said Monday that he would push for a law barring access to autopsy photos. Hodges' announcement comes a day after Teresa Earnhardt pleaded for public support to help prevent public access to photographs from the autopsy of her husband, racing great Dale Earnhardt(Speed Magazine)(3-6-2001)

  • Sentinel Offers a Compromise Hoping to re-emphasize that NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos would not be published, the Orlando Sentinel today invited representatives of the Earnhardt estate and the courts to accompany the newspaper's medical expert when he reviews the photographs. During a news conference, Sentinel Editor Tim Franklin and the newspaper's attorney, David Bralow, reaffirmed that autopsy photos of the racing great who died at the Daytona 500 last month would not be published or copied. Rather, Franklin and Bralow say the Sentinel has sought access as a way to contribute to the debate on how race car driving can be made safer. The photos may help resolve a conflict over how Earnhardt died. See the ful story at the Orlando Sentinel: Earnhardts welcome at photo exam, Sentinel says by Pamela J. Johnson(3-5-2001)

  • Statement from Teresa Earnhardt about the Autopsy Pictures:

    Thank you for joining us here today on such short notice. I want to acknowledge several people in the audience, including NASCAR president Mike Helton, and Dale Earnhardt Inc. drivers Steve Park and Michael Waltrip. Seated next to me, of course, is Dale Earnhardt Jr. On behalf of him, and my other children, Kerry, Kelley, and Taylor, I have something very important to say -- not just to the NASCAR family and its millions of supporters, but to every family in America.

    It was just two weeks ago today that my husband died doing what he loved. We all miss him terribly and can never fully express how grateful we are to everyone who has shown us their support during this especially difficult and emotional time. The outpouring of affection for Dale and our family has been overwhelming. Since that day, we have received thousands of letters, phone calls and e-mails from all around the world offering sympathy and support. Thank you so much.

    However, I am here to tell you that the trauma we have suffered has only grown since that tragic day two weeks ago. In fact, I have not even had time to caringly unpack Dale's suitcases from Daytona, let alone have time to grieve for him. The main reason is because we have been caught up in an unexpected whirlwind as a result of efforts to gain access to the autopsy photographs of Dale.

    We can't believe, and are saddened that anyone would invade our privacy during this time of grief. I want to let you know that if access to the photos is allowed, others will demand them, too. And make no mistake, sooner or later the photos will end up unprotected and published ... and most certainly on the Internet.

    We are thankful to the Florida court, which has denied access to these private photos for the time being. We hope it will order that these images remain where they belong -- in the medical examiner's confidential records. Ensuring that the media or others cannot violate Dale's dignity and our family's privacy will make the healing process possibly less painful.

    But there's a larger issue here. As our family has learned, the laws differ from state-to-state concerning accessibility to autopsy photos. The deceased have a right to their dignity and loved ones have a right to be free from exploitation. Allowing access to these photos will only cause more distress and emotional harm. I'm sure every family in America can understand this.

    Even people in the public eye have a right to privacy. This right is more important than the desire to exploit a tragic situation -- especially when no public good is being served. There is nothing to be gained by release of these images from Dale's autopsy.

    Releasing the pictures will service only to violate the privacy of our family and integrity of Dale's legacy. Our family knows that what is happening to us is wrong and we don't want any other family in America to go through what we're going through.

    This is the first time I've spoken in public since we've lost Dale. Honestly, I'm not very comfortable being here. It's too soon. But this issue is of vital importance -- not just to my family -- but to anyone ever faced with being exploited after losing a loved one.

    I am grateful to be among friends, and hopeful that my difficult decision to come here today will make a difference.

    I ask anyone, who feels as strongly as we do, to let your voice be heard. Over the next few days, please contact the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and the President of the Florida Senate, both of whom are in Tallahassee, and will hopefully be taking up this issue shortly. Ask them to protect the privacy of citizens by preventing the publication of autopsy photos. Then do the same in your own state. Please also contact Florida Governor Jeb Bush and then contact your own governor. Finally, we encourage you to let the Orlando Sentinel know how you feel about this unfortunate situation.

    Hopefully, something positive will come from our efforts ... for Dale's sake. He was a wonderful husband, father, son and brother, as well as national role model for so many. That's the way he should be remembered. Please help us by speaking out. We need you right now. Thank you for your support.

    Contact Info:

    Florida Governor Jeb Bush
    The Capitol
    Tallahassee, FL
    32399-0001
    Phone: (850) 488-4441
    Fax: (850) 487-0801
    email: jeb@myflorida.com
    email: fl_governor@myflorida.com


    Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives - Tom Feeney
    Room 420 The Capitol,
    402 S. Monroe St.,
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
    (850) 488-1450 Office of
    (850) 488-0468 Tallahassee Office
    (407) 359-6501 Oviedo Office
    (850) 488-1456 FAX
    Email: feeney.tom@leg.state.fl.us


    President of the Florida Senate - John McKay
    Office of Senate President
    Suite 409, The Capitol
    404 South Monroe Street
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
    (850) 487-5299
    (850) 487-5078 Tallahassee Office
    (941) 727-6255 Branenton Office
    (941) 727-6352 FAX
    Email: mckay.john.web@leg.state.fl.us


    Info on Your Own State - www.statelocal.gov


    Orlando Sentinel Contact Info:
    OrlandoSentinel.com
    633. N. Orange Avenue
    Orlando Fla. 32801

    (407) 420-5000
    (407) 420-5286 FAX
    Email: insight@orlandosentinel.com
    Email - Vice President/Editor Tim Franklin: tfranklin@orlandosentinel.com
    Feedback Form: Orlando Sentinel Feedback Section

    and see their story of Teresa's Statement from the AP:
    Earnhardt's widow makes plea to public by Mike Harris of the AP.
    Mentioned in the story: Sentinel attorney David Bralow has said the newspaper has no desire to cause Teresa Earnhardt more pain. The Sentinel's editors have said they have no intention of publishing the photos. However, ``if these photos will help elucidate the nature of what exactly went wrong or what happened to Dale Earnhardt, then the public is served,'' Bralow said. NASCAR has hired a consultant and is investigating the death. A broken left lap belt was found on the floor of the battered Chevrolet after the accident and could have been responsible for Earnhardt's death.(3-4-2001)

  • Orlando Sentinel Columns About the situation, posted on March 4th:
    A letter from Orlando Sentinel Editor Tim Franklin

    The Original Story and MORE on the whole Situation:

  • Earnhardt Lawsuit UPDATE 5 More Newspapers Join in and Show support to the Sentinel: Volusia County has been barred from releasing autopsy photos of Dale Earnhardt, the famous NASCAR driver who perished on the last lap of Sunday's Daytona 500. Circuit Court Judge Joseph G. Will granted the temporary injunction banning release of the photos after Earnhardt's wife, Teresa, filed a lawsuit against the Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office on Thursday. Daytona Beach attorneys representing Teresa Earnhardt filed the complaint seeking a temporary and permanent injunction after the coroner's office released photos to the media that were taken inside her husband's No. 3 Chevy a day after the crash. The court order prevents anyone from obtaining autopsy photos of Earnhardt's body, Judge Will said. (Speed Magazine/Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-24-2001)
    UPDATE: Attorneys for Dale Earnhardt's widow and the Orlando Sentinel are close to reaching an agreement that would allow the public to view but not copy autopsy photos of the race-car driver. The widow filed a lawsuit Thursday to stop Volusia County from releasing autopsy photos taken by the Medical Examiner's Office after Earnhardt's fatal wreck in the Daytona 500. Circuit Judge Joseph G. Will granted the request, saying the photos have no "bona fide newsworthiness" and could cause the family "additional anguish and grief." But Friday, an Orlando Sentinel reporter submitted a public records request asking for "any and all photographs" of Earnhardt. Sentinel attorney David Bralow said the newspaper has no desire to cause Teresa Earnhardt more pain. The Sentinel's editors have publicly stated they have no intention of publishing the the photos in the newspaper.(more at Speed Magazine/Daytona Beach News Journal). If an agreement isn't reached, a hearing has been set for 2:30pm/et Thursday(2-28-2001)
    UPDATE 2: A hearing set for Thursday among attorneys for Teresa Earnhardt, The Orlando Sentinel and Volusia County on releasing autopsy photos of the NASCAR driver was postponed because of a scheduling conflict. Teresa Earnhardt sued Volusia County on Feb. 22 to stop the release of its medical examiner's autopsy photos taken after Earnhardt's fatal wreck at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. Circuit Judge Joseph G. Will issued a temporary injunction, saying the photos have no "bona fide newsworthiness" and could cause the family "additional anguish and grief."(ESPN/AP). NOTE: I will NOT start an email or bash the Sentinel campaign, I don't do such things at the site, go to the paper's site itself, Orlando Sentinel and leave feedback for them(3-1-2001)
    UPDATE 3- Teresa Earnhardt to Appear: Teresa Earnhardt, wife of the late Dale Earnhardt, will make an appearance Sunday at 1:00pm at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, site of Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. Dale Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap wreck in last month's Daytona 500. Teresa Earnhardt's appearance will mark her first public comments since Dale Earnhardt's memorial service in Charlotte two weeks ago. She will be accompanied to the track's infield media center by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Earnhardt's youngest son(That's Racin'). Their is a possibility of the photos being sealed in which Florida State lawmakers are trying to rush through a bill that would deny public access to autopsy photographs. Gov. Jeb Bush, House Speaker Tom Feeney, and other lawmakers have received more than 12,000 e-mails from Earnhardt fans across the nation demanding that they stop the Sentinel(3-6-2001)
    UPDATE 4: More newspapers and organizations have requested the photos and shown support AND With the support of Gov. Jeb Bush and the endorsement of Dale Earnhardt's widow, legislative leaders will unveil a bill today that would prohibit the release of autopsy photographs, see above for the full story links(3-4/7-2001)


    some OFFICIAL reactions to Earnhardt's death

  • An open letter to fans from Teresa Earnhardt at the USA Today website(2-23-2001)

  • Teresa Earnhardt Statement: On behalf of Taylor, Dale, Jr., Kerry, Kelley and the entire Earnhardt family, which also includes all the employees of Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, we want to sincerely thank everyone that has offered their condolences during our very tragic loss. This outpouring has been overwhelming. We kindly ask that you keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.(NASCAR PR 2-19-2001 this statement will stay at the top, others will be poasted by date)
    We also thank you for your memorials and ask that in lieu of flowers that you consider donations to:
    Foundation For The Carolinas
    Attn: Honor of Dale Earnhardt
    PO Box 34769
    Charlotte, N.C. 28234-4769

  • Stevie Waltrip's Scripture that she posted each race in the car for Dale, on 2-18-2001 it read: The Lords name is a strong tower: The righteous will run into it and be safe. Proverbs 18:10

  • Brooks and Dunn: Remembering Dale Earnhardt Both Kix and Ronnie are "pretty torn up" by the death of Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt, you might remember, played a Kix Brooks double in the "Honky Tonk Truth" video and they were close personal friends. "I've just lost a good buddy. Our hearts go out to the family. It's just a really sad time," says Kix."I remember coming in from a day of deep sea fishing. We were both worn out and all of our lines were up. A couple marlins cleared the boat in front of us and Dale had to throw all the lines back in. Those marlins are so hard to catch, I was tired and didn't want to fool with it, but Dale never would let an opportunity pass. And, wouldn't you know -- we caught one! He had a gusto for living life like no one I've ever seen or ever will see again."(2-25-2001)

  • Marlin Speaks: #40-Sterling Marlin believes he did not cause the wreck that killed Dale Earnhardt in the final lap of the Daytona 500 last Sunday and resents those who label him the culprit, Marlin said in an interview with The Tennessean this afternoon. Marlin also said he had been contacted by members of Earnhardt's race team as well as NASCAR officials "and all of them say, 'Man, you didn't do anything wrong. Don't let it bother you," Marlin said.(Tennessean)(2-20-2001)

  • Statement from President George W. Bush: "I have asked my close friend Joe Allbaugh to attend today?s memorial service for Dale Earnhardt. I am saddened by the untimely loss of this American legend and want to express my deepest sympathy to his family, friends and fans. Dale was an American icon who made great contributions to his sport. Dale?s legacy will live on for millions of Americans. He was an inspiration to many.(2-22-2001)


    Ernie Irvan's first Cup ride, sponsored by Dale Earnahrdt Chevrolet

  • The Irvan Family is deeply saddened by the loss of Dale Earnhardt. Off the track he was a good friend. On the track he was a great competitor. Dale Earnhardt will always be the most respected name in Motorsports. Our Prayers are with Theresa and the Earnhardt family. We mourn this loss alongside the many who worked with him each week and the millions of people whose lives were touched by him. Dale Earnhardt will be deeply missed.(2-22-2001)

  • A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway President & CEO Tony George about the death of Dale Earnhardt on Feb. 18: "The loss of Dale Earnhardt is an unbelievable and devastating tragedy to his family, his many fans and to the sport of auto racing. It is very difficult for me and for our family because of our close friendship with Dale, Teresa and their children. He personified what NASCAR is about, and the growth of motorsports during the last 20 years was attributable in many ways to him. He was a man who loved the life, the sport and enjoyed every week of it. He was intense, focused and competitive in everything he did. Dale had a special love for the history and tradition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and his name will always be a part of our racing heritage at the Brickyard. Our hearts and prayers go to Dale's family and to all who admired his skill and the admirable traits he represented." Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Earnhardt won the 1995 Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and competed in every Brickyard 400 from 1994-2000.(2-23-2001)

  • Roush Racing released this statement from Mark Martin regarding the death of Dale Earnhardt: "I will tell you that some of the fiercest and most successful drivers are also the most aggravating on the track. Dale was incredibly tenacious; he drove me to rise to his level. He made me want to be the best, because he made me want to beat him. I have never in all of my experience raced against anyone with as much desire to win as he had, and that's saying a lot, because I've raced against them all. He was so tenacious, but he was so different from that away from the track. I was really fortunate to know that side of him, because not everyone did, but there was a softer side to Dale that most people didn't know he had, but it was there. It's just so tragic. He was so much to so many. He's left a giant, dark, black hole behind him. I really don't know what to say. There are so many decisions, so much grief. He will be missed by millions. I remember in 1990 or 1991 when we were both racing in IROC, that right after the race in Daytona we flew up to Cleveland for the race and then back down to Charlotte. Well, I was living in Greensboro at the time and I had no way home at like 11 p.m., so Dale drove me all the way up there and then back to Lake Norman, just to shoot the breeze. I just couldn't understand that; he must have gotten home at 3 a.m. or something and to this day, I still don't understand. But he was just that way. Different, and special."(2-23-2001)

    GOOD ADVICE: This quote is from Roush Racing's Kurt Busch: "My spotter (at Daytona) told me to follow Earnhardt even if he stopped to get a hot dog. I'm just sorry I won't be able to compete against him again."(2-23-2001)

  • From Jeff Green: Michelle and I would like to send our condolences to the Earnhardt family, everyone at DEI and Richard Childress Racing. Losing Dale is a big loss for all of us. He will be greatly missed. Not only is Dale the icon of Nascar, he is the one who gave me the opportunity to be where I am today and I will never forget that. Without his guidance and direction, I would not be a Busch Grand National Champion. Thank you Dale for everything!(2-22-2001)

  • DEAR RACE FANS: Words will never be able to describe how we feel about the death of our friend Dale Earnhardt, but the love and affection from the entire racing community has been overwhelming and comforting. We find strength in your prayers and ask that you all pray for the entire Earnhardt family. The NASCAR community will move on through this trying time but we will never be the same nor will the sport. Dale Earnhardt was the sport of NASCAR for the last two decades. His presence in the sport set a standard of excellence that may never be reached again. His spirit will dwell in the garage forever.
    Scripture tells us that God made the following command to Joshua: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9. We must all be strong and trust in the Lord. Dale was strong yet softer than most people will ever know. All of us, drivers, crews and fans owe Dale the respect of carrying on with pride and dignity. He would have done the same for anyone of us. We can not let his early departure be in vain.
    Dale is with Him and He is with Dale.
    Thank you and God Bless all of you.
    Sincerely,
    Michael and Buffy Waltrip(2-21-2001)

  • Statement from Dale Jarrett: As millions of race fans mourn the loss of the man they knew as "The Intimidator," the sport and the race that he truly loved have taken from me one of my best friends. I know I should feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to race with, tangle with, sometimes outrun, but like most finish behind, the greatest driving talent NASCAR racing has ever seen. I am thankful for that opportunity but, more importantly, I am most grateful that I had the chance to know Dale Earnhardt in a way that so many people could only dream of knowing him. He was a true friend, someone I could always depend on to give me an honest answer and most certainly his opinion. I looked up to him not only because of his driving skills, but because he was so much more to so many people, including me and my family. Kelley and I choose to remember this incredible racer for his caring and giving personality. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Teresa and the kids in this time of mourning. But knowing Dale, he would rather this be a celebration of his amazing accomplishments and this we will do in his honor. Just know Dale that we love you and we all are truly going to miss you. Thanks for making our sport what it is today and for being my friend.(2-21-2001)


    from the Gaston Gazette

  • Statement From Patty and Andy Petree: As tributes honoring Dale Earnhardt and his career flow, we would like to remember and honor the Dale we knew. We knew a Dale who understood that it is not your career, but your family that comes first. He understood that it is not winning and losing but loyalty and integrity that make a man.. He understood how important it is to be a wonderful husband, a good father, and a true friend. We shared many things in our professional life, as well as our personal life, with Dale. We shared the victories in racing and the victories in championships. I thanked him for those victories and I thanked him for helping me climb to where I am today. My regret is that I never thanked him for teaching me the most important lesson in life and I never told him how much I love him. I hope and pray that he understood. In my mind, he was the most talented and successful race car driver. In my heart, he was the most successful person who ever lived. The success on the race track will live forever in the hearts of race fans. In our hearts, it is his friendship that will live forever. Our prayers and thoughts are with Teresa and the whole Earnhardt family.. We will miss him in the racing world but most of all we will miss our friend.(2-21-2001)

  • Even though Dale Earnhardt never raced at Irwindale Speedway, he was, as he was across the country, somehow a part of our personal world. Thousands of our weekly visitors where his faithful fans; his driving exploits from the preceding week's race were always a hot topic of conversation in the pits and in the stands on Saturday night; his stature as one of the greatest ever in NASCAR was never in question here. All of us are deeply saddened. All of us at Irwindale feel as though we have lost a friend. All of us know what a painful loss to our sport his passing will be. We all send our deepest sympathy to his family, his friends, his team, and to his legions of loyal fans everywhere(2-21-2001)

  • Statement From Richard Petty: Like all of the NASCAR family, I was stunned and saddened by the loss of Dale Earnhardt. We shared a common bond in championships as well as a mutual respect. Our family has raced against his family since this sport began, going back to when my Dad and I raced against Ralph Earnhardt. My thoughts and prayers and that of the entire Petty organization are with Teresa, Kerry, Kelly, Dale Jr., Taylor and the rest of the Earnhardt family.(2-20-2001)

  • Statement regarding the death of Dale Earnhardt from Eddie Gossage, General Manager of Texas Motor Speedway: “The death of Dale Earnhardt is heartbreaking for millions of racing fans around the world. I, too, am heartbroken. Athletes in other sports would be wise to follow Dale’s model of what a champion is supposed to be. He had great dignity – both on the track and off. I know people would question why people risk such great odds to race automobiles. But I’m certain Dale would tell you that he lived his life to the fullest and his life was better for being a participant in the arena. While many people may not understand this, Dale understood better than anyone. We want to express our sympathies to Dale’s wife Teresa, his children, his mother and the rest of his family as well as Richard Childress Racing and the people of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. We will remember them in our prayers.”(2-19-2001)

  • Statement From Jeff Gordon -- Brooke and I are deeply saddened by this devastating loss. Not only is it a huge loss for this sport, but a huge loss for me personally. Dale taught me so much and became a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with Teresa and the entire Earnhardt family(2-19-2001)

  • Message from John Hendrick - Everyone at Hendrick Motorsports is deeply saddened by the death of Dale Earnhardt. Our prayers are with his family that they find strength during this difficult time. He was a great competitor and a true friend to everyone in the NASCAR family. Dale`s contributions to the growth and popularity of our sport are immeasurable. He was also a great human being, husband and father. He will truly be missed. We ask everyone to join us in our prayers for Dale and his family.(2-19-2001)

  • Morgan-McClure Motorsports' thoughts and prayers are with the entire Earnhardt family, Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. Larry McClure, team owner, offers the following thoughts: "Dale Earnhardt's death is a tremendous loss to our NASCAR family and to the entire nation. Whether you liked him or not, he stood as a hero. Many looked up to Dale as a man who stuck to his convictions. Earnhardt set the stage in Winston Cup. What he did, everyone followed. He was a fierce competitor, one that we did battle with many times. He lived a life that was full. As a father, a husband and a businessman, Dale experienced success. He showed people that they can follow their dreams and reach their goals. Dale accomplished more in his life than most of us ever could. It is unfortunate. All of us in the NASCAR community live on the edge. The drivers are on the edge all of the time, every weekend. This seems more of a shock to people, because the wreck did not look that bad. When someone so talented is involved in such a deal, it is unbelieveable. I know we will all go into the garage at Rockingham next weekend and expect to see that sly grin that Earnhardt patented. It is going to be tough on NASCAR fans and Dale Earnhardt fans. For those of us who saw him and talked to him every weekend, it will take a long time to deal with this horrible loss. Cherish the memories of Dale. Realize we were lucky to be able to share his life with him. Finally, believe. If you believe in Christ, the pain will be easier to handle."
    On a personal note...My father died in a tragic accident two years ago of the same head injuries that Earnhart died of. When he heard of my devasting loss, he consoled me by talking of his own pain for the loss of his dad. Earnhart's advice was to carry on and make my dad proud, as if he were still present. I use this advice everyday in my life. It gives me a tremendous desire to succeed and it helps ease the pain.(2-19-2001)


    from the 2-21-2001 Philadelphia Inqurier

  • Dale Jarrett and Jimmy Spencer have authorized Ford Racing to release the following statements in reaction to Sunday's death of seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Dale Earnhardt.:
    DALE JARRETT - "As millions of race fans mourn the loss of the man they knew as "The Intimidator," the sport and the race that he truly loved has taken from me one of my best friends. I know I should feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to race with, tangle with, sometimes outrun, and like most usually finish behind, the greatest driving talent NASCAR racing has ever seen. I am thankful for that opportunity but, more importantly, I am most grateful that I had the chance to know Dale Earnhardt in a way that so many people could only dream of. He was a true friend -- someone I could always depend on to give me an honest answer and, at the very least, his opinion. I looked up to him not only because of his driving skills, but because he was so much more to so many people, including me and my family. Kelley and I choose to remember this incredible racer for his caring and giving personality. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Teresa and the kids in this time of mourning. But knowing Dale, he would rather this be a celebration of his amazing accomplishments. This, we will do in his honor. Just know, Dale, that we love you and we all are truly going to miss you. Thanks for making our sport what it is today and for being my friend."
    JIMMY SPENCER: "I really don't know what to say. I can't believe Dale Earnhardt isn't with us anymore and that he's not going to be out there every week in that black number three. There isn't anyone I loved racing more than him because he was the best and you always want to challenge yourself against the best. The thing about Dale Earnhardt is that there were two Dale Earnhardts -- the Dale Earnhardt that raced you for every inch on the race track and the Dale Earnhardt who cared about making people happy. He loved my dad and he loved my mom. Every time he saw me he'd ask how my mom and dad were doing. Every time he saw my mom he grabbed her hand and would stop and talk for a minute. He did it just last week at Daytona. I've got so many Dale Earnhardt stories I could write a book. I remember he came to my mom and dad's house in Berwick (Pa.) and I'll never forget it. We crashed three or four cars one night in my dad's junkyard and just had a great time afterwards just laughing and eating dinner. Then there was the time in 1988 when we raced up Route 136 from his old shop in Kannapolis to his new facility. It was late at night. He had a pickup and I had a pickup and he beat me. He never let me forget that and rubbed it in every chance he got. I'll miss him. There isn't one person in NASCAR that won't say they'll miss him. I was talking to my dad today and I said to him, 'What are we gonna do as drivers?' We all congregated around him. He was always one of the first drivers to go out for pre-race introductions and I don't care if you were Rusty Wallace or Dale Jarrett or who it was, we all talked to him because he was the guy. That 3 car scared every driver because they knew what was coming. Dale Earnhardt never gave up. He didn't care if he was five laps down, you were going to have to work to get past him. He would race you just as hard for 20th as he would for the win and us as competitors all realized that and expected that from him. I said some things a few weeks ago that looking back in hindsight I wish I could take back. I'm sorry for what I said, but at the time I felt I needed to speak up because T. Wayne (Robertson) was like a father to me, and I just felt that Dale Earnhardt the race car driver should have been there. I don't mean to slight any of the other top drivers in our sport, but if there was an autograph session and it was Dale Earnhardt against anybody else in the garage area, he would outdraw them two or three to one. Why? Because they want to meet John Wayne. He could probably outdraw any professional athlete in the world and maybe even the President of the United States. He had that kind of power. It's really hard to express just how sad I am. All I can think about is Teresa and the whole Earnhardt family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them."(2-19-2001)

         

  • A Statement From Sears Point Raceway President And General Manager Steve Page On The Death Of Dale Earnhardt: "Dale Earnhardt may have been the most talented driver ever to climb in a stock car, but his loss will be felt well beyond the racing community. Dale was one of the most distinctive personalities in the world of sports. His image as a fierce competitor, as the relentless pursuer in the black car personified the qualities that have characterized history's greatest athletes. There were no fans more passionate or loyal than Dale Earnhardt fans. On behalf of all of those fans who have turned out to see Dale at Sears Point Raceway over the years, we offer our thoughts and prayers to the Earnhardt family."(2-19-2001)

  • Statement Attributable To August A. Busch Iv Group Vice President, Marketing And Wholesale Operations Anheuser-Busch, Inc.: "All of us at Anheuser-Busch are deeply saddened by the death of Dale Earnhardt. Dale was a great man, a dear friend of my family, a true champion and a great ambassador for NASCAR and the sport of auto racing. Our prayers go out to his wife, Teresa, Dale Jr., and the entire Earnhardt family, as well as everyone at Dale Earnhardt Inc."(2-19-2001)

  • From Brett Bodine and Family: Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Earnhardt family. We have lost the greatest driver to ever sit in a NASCAR Winston Cup car. He was a fierce competitor and a true champion. We will miss him terribly(2-19-2001)

  • Statement from Atlanta Motor Speedway President and General Manager Ed Clark about the tragic loss of seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt: "American auto racing has lost its Babe Ruth, Arnold Palmer and Michael Jordan. To millions of Americans, Dale Earnhardt was so much a part of what life was all about. He expressed drive and determination in everything he endeavored to do. He loved his profession like none other, and there is simply no way this void can ever be filled. Racing has lost its best ambassador."(2-19-2001)

  • Statement from Joe Gibbs regarding the passing of Dale Earnhardt: “On behalf of everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, we would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to Teresa and the entire Earnhardt family as well as everyone at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated and Richard Childress Racing. While Dale was a fierce competitor on and off the track and leader in the community, he was a member of our family and as you can imagine, we are grieving that loss.”(2-19-2001)

  • Statement from Bobby Labonte regarding the passing of Dale Earnhardt: “I, like everyone else, am in shock with the passing of Dale Earnhardt. Besides being an incredible driver and spokesman for the sport he so loved, he was a true friend and has been a major influence on my life and career. Understandably, my family’s thoughts are with Teresa, Kerry, Kelly, Dale Jr, and Taylor Nicole as well as all of the employees and their families at Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt Incorporated. May God bless all of them and watch over them in this time of need.”(2-19-2001)

  • Statement from Tony Stewart regarding the passing of Dale Earnhardt: “Dale Earnhardt made a difference in the world. On the track, he made us all better drivers because he set a standard of excellence we all aspired to achieve. He had a passion and a desire that took the sport of NASCAR to a new level every time he climbed in the car. Off the track he was a kind, giving, loving man who gave his all to his family and friends. He worked tirelessly to make the world a better place for as many people as possible who were less fortunate than he. I did not know him as long as most of the other drivers but he made a huge impact on my life in the years I have been in NASCAR. I am grateful and blessed to have had the benefit of his wisdom and guidance. My heart and prayers go out to his wife Teresa; his children Dale Jr., Kerry, Kelley and Taylor; and all his family and friends."(2-19-2001)

    DIS Flag

    The Flag at DIS on Sunday night in honor of Dale

  • Regarding the loss of 2000 IROC Champion, Dale Earnhardt in yesterday's Daytona 500, series President Jay Signore said, "There are no words to express the extreme sense of loss we are all feeling now. Dale's greatness as a champion speaks for itself. The significant loss is of the man himself; we've lost a dear friend. On behalf of the series' founders Roger Penske, Les Richter, and the entire team, our condolences to Theresa, Kelly King, Dale Jr., Kerry and Taylor Nicole, as well as to all those at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated and the Richard Childress organization."(2-19-2001)

  • Statement from H.A. “Humpy” Wheeler, president and general manager of Lowe’s Motor Speedway about the tragic loss of seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt: “He was a good friend and I’m still in shock. This is a terrible, terrible loss and, for me, it ranks right up there with the death of JFK. Dale was the Michael Jordan of our sport. “We always thought of Dale as being invincible, so when he didn’t climb out of that car after the wreck I knew it was bad. “I talked to him this morning before the race and he was poised to challenge for an unprecedented eighth championship and was really looking forward to a fantastic season. “I knew Dale’s father, Ralph, and I’ve know Dale since he was a little boy. He had things pretty tough when his father passed away when he was young and I was so proud of the way he turned out and the way he represented our sport. “Behind that macho facade was a real sensitive individual who did a lot of things for a lot of people and didn’t want any publicity in return. He was part of a very loving family and was truly an extraordinary human being. To think he is not around anymore is incomprehensible. “Right now, we’ve got to do what we can do to help his family get through this terrible time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his mother, Martha, his wife, Teresa, and his children—Kerry, Dale, Jr., Kelly and Taylor Nicole. “We will never fill the void left by the loss of Dale Earnhardt.”(2-18-2001)

  • “It’s hard to put into words what the loss of Dale Earnhardt means. I feel without question he was the greatest driver we have ever had. At a time when the popularity of NASCAR has been rapidly growing across this country, we can thank Dale Earnhardt for a lot of that attention. The fan base he enjoyed is unparalleled in this sport. Our hearts and prayers are with his family," said Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell(2-18-2001)

  • Statement from Johnny Benson On Dale Earnhardt's Death: "There is really nothing I can say right now. I found out about Dale after I got home (Cornelius,N.C) tonight. I'm very sad. NASCAR lost its greatest driver and probably the greatest driver it will ever have. My heart goes out to his family, his crew, his friends and his fans. There is no better group of fans in our sport and I feel for them tonight also. Our sport will go on, but I don't think it will ever be the same. NASCAR is about family, and I can't think of a time in its history when it needs to pull together like a family. I know everyone on our team and our entire sport sends its condolences to everyone hurting."(2-18-2001)

  • Drivers Reaction: IMMEDIATE DRIVER REACTION: EARNHARDT PASSES:
    JEREMY MAYFIELD, Penske Racing; Mobil 1 Taurus:
    "I don't know what to say. This is incredible, just incredible. I think everybody is just in shock right now. "I didn't see much of what happened up there (in the fourth turn). After the race was over, I heard things didn't look very good but, man, Earnhardt. You figure he'll bounce right back. Your first thought is, hey, he'll probably come back next week at Rockingham and beat us all. My heart goes out to Theresa and Dale, Jr., Kerry and Kelly, and to Taylor Nicole."
    JOHN ANDRETTI, Petty Enterprises; Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge:
    "I feel like somebody kicked me in the chest. I'm stunned. And I'm really sad. That's about all I can say."
    KYLE PETTY, Petty Enterprises; Sprint Dodge:
    "No matter where it happens or how it happens or even how prepared you think you might be for it, losing somebody close to you hurts. My heart just breaks for Theresa and the family."(Williams Company)(2-18-2001)

  • Rick Mast: "What can I say, the guy was my hero. I'll never forget talking with him about doing one of my benefits in Lexington. He had been hurt a few days before and he still showed up as if nothing happened. Even after health problems, he was a man of his word to show up for the benefit." The Rockbridge Baths driver added, "People don't realize how generous this man was. Dale was very generous, especially behind the scenes. Dale shoes will never be filled. He was a very, very talented racecar driver. He was the best."(2-18-2001)

  • President Bush called the widow of Dale Earnhardt on Sunday night to express his condolences after the race car driver was killed in a crash at the Daytona 500. Bush spokesman Gordon Johndroe said the president's "prayers are with the Earnhardt family and the NASCAR community." Bush has attended NASCAR events and considered Earnhardt and his wife, Teresa, to be friends. In July, Bush visited Daytona Beach to serve as grand marshal of the Pepsi 400 and shook hands with NASCAR fans, racing crews and drivers. After greeting fans during the July visit, Bush sat in on the pre-race driver's meeting, taking a seat in the front row next to Earnhardt. Bush then watched the race in the private box of NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr.(AJC/AP)(2-19-2001)


    OTHER DRIVER TRIBUTES

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