Additional units were called to help extricate DeLeeuw, since crews on the scene didn't have the necessary equipment. Blank says even if emergency officials on the scene had what they needed, it probably wouldn't have mattered.
They pulled DeLeeuw from the car and rushed him to an ambulance. Blank says DeLeeuw was declared dead on his way to the hospital.
Blank says DeLeeuw's 15-year-old son was with him at the track. His son, Luke Deleeuw sent us a statement saying what he remembers about his father. It reads:
"Steve De Leeuw, a racer, a brother, an uncle, and a father any child would
be proud to have. From my earliest days I remember going to races to
watch him. He had that need for speed and had a drive to never give up on
anything he did. He worked hard, played hard, and loved life. From being
the youngest of thirteen to being the fastest on the drag strip; he died doing
what he loved. Yet he never anticipated being on God’s race team this soon.
He made friends where ever he went and had a smile on his face that was
contagious. Racers wanted to beat Steve on the track but were good friends
off the track. He made his mark on and off the track as a strong believer in
the Lord. His faith shined onto others like none other. He is gone and will be
missed by many, but never forgotten.
His legacy of “never give up and work your hardest” will live on throughout
me and those who have met him. He will always be Bodacious in the hearts
of his family and fellow racers. Loving memories will also live on in my
DeLeeuw, whose Facebook page says he was from West Olive, Michigan, was wearing a helmet, harness and fire suit and the car had a roll cage.
Tyler Sachman attended the Summer Thunder Mud Bog and told WSBT DeLeeuw was the first guy out, adding "He had probably the most powerful rig that was out there, took off, built up a lot of speed going through the mud and apparently, when he tried slowing down, he got sideways, started barrow rolling, ran out of space, ran over the concrete blocks that were at the end and went over into a fence."
"People there all thought he was okay at first," Sachman continued. "It was just a really freak accident. As time went on, it really made it seem more dramatic, because it is really something you don't see very often. Usually, guys will walk away from something like that."
The car was taken by police to be inspected for any mechanical issues that may have led to the crash.
The event finished as planned without incident, and DeLeeuw's death was not announced to spectators.