LONDON (AP) - Colin McRae, whose fascination with cars grew into an obsession that led him to 25 wins in a World Rally Championship career, was killed Saturday in a helicopter crash along with his 5-year-old son and two others, police said. He was 39.
McRae was piloting the helicopter, which he owned and was licensed to fly, when it crashed Saturday in a wooded area near his home.
McRae raced in the World Rally Championship from 1987 until 2004, becoming champion in 1995. He also took part in the Paris to Dakar rally, the Le Mans 24 hour race, the Race of Champions and the X Games.
McRae also lent his name to a best-selling computer game, but it was his flamboyant racing style that earned fans in all types of motorsport and lifted the profile of rallying in Britain.
Two other people also died in the crash - 6-year-old Ben Porcelli and 37-year-old Graeme Duncan. The aircraft was badly burned, making it impossible for police to immediately identify the occupants.
The son of five-time British rally champion Jimmy McRae, Colin McRae was competing on motorbikes by age 7. He competed in his first rally in 1985, but qualified as a plumber while he built his racing career, which kicked off when he became the British rally champion in 1991 and 1992.
He lifted the world title in 1995, and was runner-up in 1996, 1997 and 2001. He won 25 races in a World Rally Championship career that ran from 1987 to 2004. He made intermittent appearances on the WRC circuit until 2006.
McRae's success on the rally circuit led to a computer game "Colin McRae Rally," first released in 1998, which is now found on PlayStation, Game Boy, Xbox and PSP platforms.
McRae received an MBE award in 1996 from Queen Elizabeth II. He was married and also has a daughter.
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