Fiancée of motocross rider who died in KC crash describes his love, passion for racing

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The fiancée of a motocross rider who died at a Kansas City event last week is speaking about his life.

Emergency crews responded to Hale Arena at the American Royal complex after 26-year-old Clayton Haney of Excelsior Springs left the track and struck a cinder block wall last Friday night.

Haney was wearing a helmet, but was taken from the arena in critical condition and later died at a hospital. Fiancée Shelby Winn said he had a fervent love for racing.

"He just loved trying to bring happiness to not only himself, but to everyone else by riding and letting them ride and showing them how to ride. It just was him completely," Winn told FOX4.

She was watching the ArenaCross event when he lost control and crashed his bike into the wall.

"We have no idea what was going through his mind, what happened, everything just happened so fast," Winn said. "On a track like that, every moment you’re thinking, 'I have to turn,' 'I have to hit the clutch,' 'I have to hit the break,' 'I have to have the gas for this, this way.' All of that is just happening so fast, and with riders like him, it’s simultaneously happening so there’s no way of us knowing."

Haney never regained consciousness and died at the hospital.

He learned to ride at the age of 3 and had been racing for ArenaCross over the past year-and-a-half. Winn said he loved riding dirt bikes so much, they built a dirt track in their backyard.

"He would just take off out there and ride for however long. And of course I’d be like, 'time for dinner,' and depending on his mood and if he needed a little bit more time to get that release that he wanted, he would be out there for hours on end," she said.

Provided photo of Clayton Haney and his fiancée Shelby Winn. Haney, 26, died in a bike crash during an ArenaCross event on Friday, January 18, 2019.

He had fallen many times and suffered many bumps and bruises along the way. While Winn always worried about his safety, she never imagined racing would one day take him away from her.

"You’re always worried that there’s going to be something, but the more I watched him and the more, his confidence made me confident," she said.

"He loved every second of everything that he was doing. He loved riding in that if this was his time to be called, this is the way he would’ve wanted it. He passed doing exactly what he loved."

The couple was supposed to get married in October, but now Winn has to plan his funeral instead of a wedding.

"I’m angry he’s gone. I’m not angry at him, just angry that he’s gone. I definitely never pictured this happening. I never pictured that everything that I was planning and everything that we had planned together, what he had planned, I never imagined it," she said.

"I know life is precious, but I didn’t realize it was gonna happen to me and this was going to change my life this much."

Haney's celebration of life is Jan. 25 from 5-9 p.m. at Flander Hall in Excelsior Springs. Organizers have set up a GoFundMe in his memory.

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