Navy officials identified the Japan-based sailor who died in a motorcycle accident this week as Petty Officer 2nd Class Sedarya McNair.

McNair, 29, an aviation structural mechanic assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195 at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, died Sunday afternoon from injuries sustained at Ebisu Circuit in Fukushima prefecture, north of Tokyo.

He was taking a two-day motorcycle racing instruction course there when he drove off a straightaway between curves on the 1.24-mile course and crashed into a tire barrier, said Katsunori Takahashi, Ebisu Circuit’s assistant manager. He said several other Americans were taking the course, hosted by the Torano Ana School, but no other people were involved in the incident.

McNair was pronounced dead at 2:50 p.m. Sunday at a Fukushima hospital near the track. Navy officials say the accident’s cause is under investigation.

Takahashi said this is the first time a driver has died on the circuit in a one-person accident, although one other crash there resulted in a fatality.

A memorial service was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at NAF Atsugi’s chapel.

McNair joined the Navy in August 2000 and VFA 195 in May 2003. Cmdr. Michael Wettlaufer, VFA 195 commanding officer, said McNair was an experienced rider who had completed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s motorcycle safety course plus two other motorcycle safety courses this year and had properly informed the command of his intent to attend the racing course.

Wettlaufer said the racing instruction course is highly monitored and students receive classroom and on-track instruction, noting that the instructors also inspect the students’ motorcycles to ensure they’re safe for the track. “Street stuff,” including mirrors and lights not necessary for the course, or that might interfere with the performance of the motorcycles, are removed for the course, he said.

“Petty Officer McNair was an outstanding leader in this command. He performed his duties as a skilled technician, as a trouble shooter and as a mentor for younger sailors,” said Wettlaufer.

“He truly was a leader. He held the Navy core values of honor, courage and commitment in the highest. He was a serious young man who did a serious job, who did everything that was required of him and more in his service to the U.S. Navy,” the commander said.

“His friends and shipmates will certainly miss his presence and we grieve for him and his family.”

But “today we are going to celebrate [McNair’s] life,” said Wettlaufer, referring to Wednesday’s memorial service.

Hana Kusumoto contributed to this report.

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