UPDATE 4.30PM: BUNDABERG'S speedway community is "shattered" after the tragic death of veteran bike rider Darrin Winkler who was killed in a crash during competition at Maryborough on Saturday night.
Darrin, known affectionately by mates as Winks, was competing at the Maryborough Speedway when he fell off and was struck by another bike and later died in hospital.
Bundaberg Speedway Club president Graham Shallcross said Mr Winkler had only recently returned to the sport.
"He'll be missed for sure," Mr Shallcross said.
"He was one of those guys who would help out the young kids and show them the ropes."
Bundaberg woman Donna Bradley, whose teenage son Dalton Nilsen was mentored by Mr Winkler, said the father of four would be sorely missed.
"He was very kind natured," Ms Bradley said.
"He was willing to help anybody.
"He totally loved his speedway."
Ms Bradley said Dalton and Mr Winkler had been keen to race against each other in Saturday's meet but ended up in different races.
"He (Dalton) was about to go out and ride when it happened and we gave him the option to keep going or stop," she said.
"He said he wanted to continue and ride for Winks.
"They were out on the starting line ready to go but then the race was called off by the police."
The mother said people were shocked at the news.
"Winks had a fair break (from the sport) but he still had it when he came back.
"A lot of people just went to pieces when they heard - there was a lot of tears in the pits."
Just last week, Mr Winkler told the NewsMail of his excitement about the upcoming meet.
The rider said his bike had recently been rebuilt making it "twice as quick" and his plan was to "focus" and get off to a good start.
EARLIER: BUNDABERG Solo Speedway rider Darrin Winkler was killed last night in an accident at Maryborough Speedway.
Winkler was in the middle of his come back to the sport after a 15 year absence and he was competing in the Frasercoast Christmas bike show.
For more details see tomorrow's NewsMail.
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