Dead Macau Grand Prix rider Daniel Hegarty’s family appeals for donations as ‘life insurance won’t pay out’
Insurance company refuses to pay up because tragedy happened outside Europe, so brother sets up crowdfunding page for British motorcyclist’s two young sons
The family of Daniel Hegarty, the motorcycle rider who lost his life at last year’s Macau Grand Prix, are appealing for donations to help support his two young sons after his insurance company refused to pay up because the tragedy happened outside Europe.
Hegarty was killed when the 31-year-old hit a barrier at the notorious Fishermen’s Bend – scene of the last fatality at the event in 2012 – during the sixth of 12 scheduled laps. The British Topgun Racing Honda rider was left stricken on the track and surrounded by debris. He was rushed to hospital but later died, casting a pall on the race, which was won by Glenn Irwin in muted celebrations.
Hegarty’s brother Joe has started a crowdfunding page at justgiving.com, in the hopes of raising £20,000 (HK$223,000) for a trust fund for his two nephews, 10-year-old Evan and Flynn, aged three.
The crowdfunding page, which was started three weeks ago, has so far raised more than half of the targeted amount, backed by more than 460 supporters, with over £11,460 donated.
Joe Hegarty described his brother as a “talented, committed motorcycle racer but firstly and always he was a devoted father to his two young sons”.
He said his brother’s death was not covered by his life insurance company, Combined Insurance, since the death occurred outside Europe.
A letter from the insurance company states: “No benefit or benefits will be paid under this policy for any bodily injury sustained or loss incurred whilst the insured is outside Europe, the United States of America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand”.
Joe Hegarty, from Nottingham, England, said the justgiving page was set up to raise money for a trust fund for “Daniel’s two young boys to help them in the future where unfortunately their father can’t”.
“So please help to pay towards Evan and Flynn’s future. All money will be going into a trust fund for the boys,” he wrote on the page.
Tributes flowed immediately upon Hegarty’s death with his partner, Lucy Draycott, saying she had “lost the love of her life”.
“It is with a broken heart to tell you that the love of my life has passed away this morning,” she wrote at the time of the tragedy. “I need time to take in what has happened.”
Irwin had been declared winner of the Macau Motorcycling Grand Prix on his Ducati after five laps had been completed. He posted on Twitter that “my thoughts are with Dan Hegarty’s family, team and friends. God speed mate.”
“I appreciate all the congratulations, but the result is irrelevant, and all our thoughts are with Dan’s team and family at this very sad time,” he added.
Hegarty’s stepfather, Cavan Soal, told the Nottingham Post that “racing was always his goal but his drive came from within. He taught us all that hard work is what gets you there and no one worked harder than he did”.
Adrian Cox, the team owner at Topgun Racing Honda, also paid tribute to the rider at the time of the tragedy, saying: “Unfortunately, on that day we lost one of the good guys, a real gent, a great friend, a devoted boyfriend and a top dad.”
Hegarty was a regular competitor at the Isle of Man TT, achieving his best result in 2016 when he was crowned Privateer champion.
The Macau Grand Prix organising committee had said they assisted with Hegarty’s family at the time of the tragedy but have yet to comment on whether they will continue helping out.