Bristol business owner dies after dragster crash - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Bristol business owner dies after dragster crash

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By: Alexandra Cowley

acowley@abc6.com

A community in Bristol is in mourning Friday after a beloved business owner passes away. 51–year–old Steve Elmslie was in a freak accident last week with his dragster. He's being remembered as the man with a heart of gold, who'd give a stranger the shirt off his back.

The flag at Elmco Tool Company in Bristol is at half staff and the employees are numb. They haven't quite accepted that the seat in Elmco won't be filled with the man they say was the best boss anyone could have.

Carl Florenzano knew Steve Elmslie for 20 years. He works at the machining business behind Elmco and wears the Elmco shirt Elmslie gave him everyday.

"It's a tragedy I'm shocked that what happened, happened, I spoke to someone last night and I said you know what I think I'm going to retire this shirt and they told me to wear it proudly so that's what I'm doing, I miss the guy I really do,"Florenzano said.

Last Thursday, Elmslie was testing out his high–speed dragster in the parking lot of Elmco. The type of dragster he was in is called a front end engine bracket.

Somehow he lost control. The dragster shot across the street, hit a barrier, and went flying in the air. Landing in the meat smoking shed of the Wing–N–It Restaurant, just barely missing an employee. Elmslie spent a week in the hospital in critical condition. He died last night.

"He had a bigger heart than anybody I knew, and I'm not just saying that because he's not here," said Florenzano.

Friend Paul Ferreira said, "he was just a good kind hearted person to everybody in business, in life, he just enjoyed life to the fullest, he always would help you out."

Elmslie's machines were his passion. The motorcyle he built was even featured in American Iron Magazine.

His employees say they'll continue running the business the way they know how. Bristol and state police are still investigating exactly what went wrong. They say it's tough, because of the cars uniqueness.

Elsmlie was wearing a helmet. Funeral arrangements have not been set.

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