Air Race Crash Victim's Family Asks For Help, Fundraiser Planned

John Craik
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RENO, NV - An account has been established to benefit the family of a former Woodfords resident who died of injuries received at the Reno Air Races on Friday.

A memorial service is planned for October at Turtle Rock Park for former Woodfords resident John Craik.

Craik, 45, a longtime contractor, and his family moved from Woodfords to Gardnerville last year. Alpine County announced that the account has been established at U.S. Bank, 1341 Highway 395, Gardnerville.

The account No. is 153754802939. Alpine County residents may drop off checks made payable to the Craik Benefit Account at Health and Human Services, 75-A Diamond Valley Road, Markleeville.

"He was a very good friend," said Jack Merrill whose home Craik built. "On Saturday some friends told us about it. Woodfords is a small town, so everybody knows."

Merrill said his cousin introduced him to Craik in 2004. "He was working on my cousin's bed and breakfast, and we were looking for a builder," Merrill said. "We saw some of the other jobs he was working on and we hired him."

Merrill said he's heard the family is doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances.

Alpine County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Teresa Burkhauser sent a note offering the sympathies of the chamber of commerce board of directors, members and staff.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families," she said. "Especially our own chamber members present and past who were injured in this tragedy. Our deepest condolences go to the John Craik family."

Eleven people were reported dead as a result of the crash of a modified P-51 Mustang into the box seats at the Reno Air Races on Friday afternoon.

Craik was injured and was taken to the hospital where he died, his sister-in-law told a Denver television station.

Craik grew up in Alpine County and was a 1984 graduate of Douglas High School. He is the owner of Big John Construction, which he started in 1993.

Alpine residents are hosting a fundraiser for Craik's family at Turtle Rock Community Center 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdy. There will be a bake sale and raffle along with Indian tacos.

Contact Amy at (530) 694-1012 if you've got a raffle item or baked goods to donate.