Ralph Willhite Jacksonville Accident, Death: Speedway Accident, Mechanic at Centre State International Trucks Has Died

Ralph Willhite Jacksonville Accident, Death: Ralph Willhite, a 65-year-old resident of South Jacksonville, Illinois, and a dedicated mechanic at Centre State International Trucks, tragically passed away on Friday, June 28, 2024. He was involved in a fatal accident at Jacksonville Speedway, where he was hit by a sprint car that lost control.

Details of the Tragic Accident

The Morgan County Coroner’s Office confirmed Ralph A. Willhite’s death on social media early Saturday morning. Ralph was in the infield when a 410-winged sprint car lost control, resulting in a fatal collision. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Morgan County Coroner Marcy Patterson. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

Remembering Ralph Willhite’s Life

Ralph Willhite was born on January 11, 1959, in Macomb, Illinois, to James and Cris Willhite. He married Cheryl Burgess on May 9, 1981, at Grace United Methodist Church in Jacksonville. Ralph graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1977, where he excelled in football and track. He dedicated over 42 years of his life to Centre State International Trucks, formerly Byers International, as a skilled diesel mechanic, proud of his strong work ethic.

A Passion for Racing and Family

Ralph had a deep passion for racing and was a valued member of the race crews for Bobby Hawks and Paul Nienhiser. Outside of work and racing, he enjoyed deer hunting with his sons and cherished moments with his grandchildren Clarissa, Haven, and Hazel. Ralph was a loving husband to Cheryl, a devoted father to Drew and Drake Willhite, and a beloved member of his community.

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As the community mourns the loss of Ralph Willhite, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Cheryl, Drew, Drake, and the entire Willhite family. Ralph’s dedication to his work, his passion for racing, and his love for his family will be remembered fondly by all who knew him. Details regarding Ralph Willhite’s obituary and funeral arrangements will be released by the family at a later date. His presence and contributions will be deeply missed.