Some people are calling William Ronald Dew Jr. of McLeansville in Guilford County a hero.
The 27-year-old drag boat racer stayed with his boat, Fool's Gold, after its throttle apparently stuck Saturday evening. The boat slammed into shore at 100 mph at the 1990 U.S. Drag Boat Association World Finals at Cane Creek Park, killing Dew.Other racers and witnesses said Dew stayed with his boat to steer it away from other racers. If he had bailed out, they said, others might have died.
``It just stuck wide open,' said fellow drag boat driver Dan Flagg. ``You could see him trying to stop it. It all happened so fast.'
Dew's boat crashed into woods and burst into flames. Officials called an end to the day's racing.
Dew, known as ``Little Ronnie,' lived at 5412 Hiddenbrook Drive and was a mechanic at North State Chevrolet in Greensboro. His funeral will be at 2 p.m. today at Forbis & Dick North Elm Street Funeral Home.