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16th of July 2018

Bermuda News

Navell Darrell (1958-2018) | The Royal Gazette:Bermuda News

Paul Johnston

Published Jul 4, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 4, 2018 at 6:53 am)

Humble and kind: Navell “Beetle” Darrell loved motorcycles (photograph by Jevaughn Simons)

Humble and kind: Navell “Beetle” Darrell loved motorcycles (photograph by Jevaughn Simons)

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A man who died after a crash last week was a motorcycle enthusiast who shared his passion with young people, friends said yesterday.

Navell “Beetle” Darrell, 59, was a veteran racer, said Takara Dill, president of the Bermuda Motorcycle Racing Club.

Ms Dill said: “He was credited with being the eldest member on the grid during our 2017 circuit.”

She added that Mr Darrell had attended a family event organised by the club the Sunday before the fatal crash.

Ms Dill said: “Once it was confirmed that it was our beloved club member we were understandably upset.”

She added that Mr Darrell had helped to publicise the work of the club when it was founded in the early 1990s.

Ms Dill said that he also helped with the club’s Spark programme for young riders, which included driving floats in the Bermuda Day and Santa Claus parades.

She added: “He made sure that the truck was picture perfect and his exuberance was easily picked up on by those around him.

“He played a huge part in introducing and reintroducing the sport to some of our well-known riders who have gone on to be veterans in their own right.”

Rick Hill, a former racer and a mechanic, said that he had known Mr Darrell for about 20 years.

Mr Hill said the two first got to know each other as rivals but that the relationship grew over the years into a lasting friendship.

He explained: “I opened up a bike shop, and he started to shop from my store.

“I started bringing in stuff for his bike and helping him out. That’s how we connected.”

Mr Hill said Mr Darrell was “humble, kind and friendly” — but a fierce competitor.

He added: “He just liked good competition. He’d help you out or do whatever — he just wanted to see good competition.

“He would even help his rivals.”

Mr Hill said that Mr Darrell was godfather to his daughter.

Sylvan Richards, the One Bermuda Alliance MP, spoke about his close friendship with Mr Darrell in the House of Assembly last Friday.

Mr Richards said he had known Mr Darrell “since I was about 16 — and we are both very fond of motorcycles”.

He added: “It’s amazing, since his passing, how many Bermudians have reached out to talk about the sadness of losing Beetle.

“He touched a lot of lives. I have lost a childhood buddy.”

Mr Richards — who emphasised he was not speculating on the cause of Mr Darrell’s crash — added that road users should exercise caution on the roads.

He said: “There is no room for error out there — and a lot of the time, we have to just slow down.”

Navell “Beetle” Darrell died after a crash on St John’s Road, Pembroke, near Berkeley Road, at about 10.30am on June 27.

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