Local Modified Racer Dave Berube Killed In Long Island Plane Crash

Dave Berube (Photo: Howie Hodge)

Dave Berube (Photo: Howie Hodge)

Longtime local racer Dave Berube was killed in a plane crash Tuesday in Syosset, N.Y.

Berube, of Bristol, was 66.

“What a shock,” longtime friend and retired Modified driver Ed Flemke Jr. said Wednesday. “I just saw him last week. We always say to each other, ‘You look good for an old man.’ And he came over and gave me a big hug. He said to me, ‘You always look good, you’re my motivator.’ He always made you feel good. … He told me he was flying down south for a family event. He was just so upbeat about everything. He truly truly was just a nice nice guy.”

Berube began as a Street Stock racer at the former Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Mass. in 1990 and moved on to Pro Stocks a year later. By 1993 he was driving a Tour Type Modified at the track and also began dabbling in competition on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

He won the 1996 Modified championship at Riverside Park Speedway. The track closed after the 1999 season.

Berube made 16 Whelen Modified Tour starts from 1993 to 2003. His last start in the division was a 23rd place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 12, 2003.

When the Valenti Modified Racing Series kicked off in 2004 Berube was on the roster. He recorded seven top-10 finishes with the division beween 2004 and 2007. He made his last Valenti Modified Racing Series start in 2013 at Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan, N.H., finishing 22nd.

Flemke said he and Berube talked last week about him going racing again.

“He said his car was sitting there and he couldn’t sell it because it’s been sitting so long and he said ‘Maybe if I get it back out and run a few times and have some fun at least the car would be marketable.’” Flemke said. “We were joking about getting the band back together. He said ‘We always had fun doing it.’ And he asked me if I would go with him racing. He said ‘Not all the time.’ And I said I’d look forward to it. We talked about how his car needed to be updated. … We just talked about doing what needed to be done. It just was so odd.”

Berube was a longtime pilot and owned the six-seat Beech BE35 which crashed Tuesday. It’s unclear if Berube was at the controls of the plane when it crashed. Berube was one of three people on board the plane. All were killed in the crash.

According to a report in the Hartford Courant, the crash victims also included Berube’s girlfriend of eight years, Dana Parenteau, and one of Berube’s employees at the company he owned, New England Municipal Equipment.

The cause of the crash was still being investigated on Wednesday. The plane took off from Myrtle Beach, S.C. and was schedule to land at Robertson Field in Plainville.


  1. Sad to hear. May he rest in peace.

  2. Mike Ray says

    Prayers for family, friends and fans…

  3. The racing industry is one big family, whether you’re the driver, pit crew member, flagman, or fan, we will always ache when we lose someone from the racing circuit. The only thing that makes Dave’s passing tolerable is that he was doing what he enjoyed. That doesn’t take the pain away from those who grieve now, but for him he most likely was enjoying every second of what he was doing up until that fateful radio call for help. Hard to imagine and more difficult to accept. Thoughts and prayers to all that knew him.
    Godspeed Dave

  4. Mary Harlow says

    My thoughts & prayers are with the families of those on the plane, especially to Dave’s family, friends & fans. Godspeed, and God Bless.

  5. Bill Chatfield says

    RIP Dave, you will be missed.

  6. cant beleave it what a sad,sad day for family and friends ,knew dave for years ,in racing and in business,just talked to him last week and he talked about possible bringing the car back out for a few events,my heart goes out to his family,his girlfriends family who he loved so much she was his rock and he would tell everybody rip old friend

  7. Tom /Carol Howard says

    To all the families, our thoughts and prayers are with you. God bless.

  8. Jim Torok at City of Stamford says

    Condolences to Dave’s family and friends at New England Municipal Equipment.

  9. God bless and condolences to all David and Dana’s family and friends

  10. Lee Berube says

    may 3,2017 It’s been the LONGEST year of my life !!!I am David Berube’s mother and I still can’t comprehend that my David is gone!!! Such a nightmare. He was always SO careful. Everything that should have been done …was done AND MUCH MORE!!!
    David did not take chances . He dotted all the (I)s and crossed all the (t)s!!! He had just had his Yearly physical and had everything ion the plane checked so it would be perfect, He spent between $6,000 to $8,000 on equipment to make sure everything was top-notch. WHAT WENT WRONG? who messed up and killed my son and Dana and Ben ????? They took away my pride and joy. I knew I would never have a worry as long as I had my David to look out for me and,,,his 2 sisters and 2 brothers .that had worked with him is such a nightmare and it is still with you when you wake up. You can never get away from it. Three great sweet people killed because someone messed up .I need to know before I die.
    Lee Berube ..(David Berube’s Heartbroken [email protected] Thank you for any information you may have.

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