Owner of Brainerd International Raceway dies off the coast of Florida

Authorities responded to a call for a man overboard on Sunday.
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Jed Copham racing

Jed Copham behind the wheel of his BCRaceCars/TesarEngines/BIR Chevrolet Corvette. 

The owner of Brainerd International Raceway has died in a boating accident off the coast of Florida. 

According to the Lee County Sheriff's Office in Fort Myers, Florida, 47-year-old John Copham was found in the water near Punta Rassa boat ramp at approximately 9:50 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday. 

The boat ramp is near the Sanibel Causeway off the coast of Fort Myers, which is where the sheriff's office received a report of a man in the water on Sunday. WCCO reports that Copham fell overboard while on a yacht. 

A search for Copham turned up nothing and was halted Sunday night because of darkness. 

A death investigation is ongoing but the sheriff's release says there appears to be no criminal aspect to the case.

Brainerd International Raceway confirmed to KARE 11 that Copham did indeed die in the accident. 

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According to the racetrack's website, Copham was also a race car driver, competing in the Trans Am class. 

"RIP Jed Copham. Our thoughts go out to his family on this sad day," says Rogers-based DB Performance on Facebook. "The various Minnesota motorsports communities will miss you and all that you have done the last 10+ years for racing."

Copham and his wife, Kristi, purchased Brainerd International Raceway in 2006. 

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