Chicago (WLS) — A NASCAR contractor died after being electrocuted at a Chicago street race site on Friday, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said Saturday.
Chicago police said just before 11:30 a.m. a 53-year-old man was taken from the 500 block of South Columbus Drive near Buckingham Fountain to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
In a statement, NASCAR said he suffered a “fatal medical emergency”. No further details about the incident have been released.
NASCAR said, “We are coordinating with local authorities on this tragic incident. We extend our condolences to the family and loved ones.”
The Cook County Medical Examiner identified him as Duane Tabinski.
Tabinski is the founder of DUANE, the event production company of the same name, and was in Chicago to supply audio equipment for the NASCAR Chicago Street Race. His co-workers said that he had invented a special audio device called the Trackpack, and that he was installing it at the time of his medical emergency.
“This morning he went up to the grandstand and was able to turn it on and see it work for the first time, and it was one of the happiest days of his life,” said Ken Sorrell, director of business development at DUANE. ,
Sorrell said Tabinski is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba and currently lives in the Nashville metropolitan area. He had a long career working in special events, building and setting up production equipment for past NASCAR races as well as many major music events.
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“He never treats a customer like a customer. He treats everyone like a friend and he’s always looking for ways to make things better and make everyone happy,” she added. “
Sorel said the company was Tabinski’s passion and dream since he was 17 years old, and while this weekend will never be the same without him, his loved ones are promising to carry on his legacy.
He said, “We’re going to keep going. We’re going to keep doing things. We’re going to do this NASCAR show, all these future shows, and we’re going to make them proud.”
Sorel told ABC7 that Tabinski’s family is also moving to Chicago.