BUCKEYE, AZ — A man has been arrested, accused of hitting and killing a motorcyclist while under the influence of alcohol and speeding.
According to court paperwork, the crash happened on March 4 at 8 p.m., along Sun Valley Parkway, east of 211th Avenue, which is west of Loop 303 near Buckeye.
Robert Nelson, 46, allegedly admitted to police that he had been drinking, and police believe he was driving approximately 100 mph when he rear-ended a motorcyclist, identified as 20-year-old Hunter Gibson.
Gibson was thrown from the motorcycle when he was hit and ended up about 365 feet away from his bike.
Gibson was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash. Nelson was taken to a nearby hospital and was arrested upon his release.
Gibson was remembered by those close to him Tuesday night near the scene of the crash. Gibson and Austin Bradley shared six years of friendship.
"It was cool. He was a loveable kid, funny and always had a smile on his face,” said Bradley.
Bradley says he got a call from his brother, Friday, telling him his friend was gone.
"There was no reaction, at first, there was just panic. I just told him to calm down and he'd be all right,” said Bradley.
According to court paperwork, text messages between Nelson and his wife show that he admitted to drinking before driving his Camaro, and admitted to reaching speeds up to 160 mph before the crash.
Nelson said he saw the motorcyclist and tried to avoid hitting Gibson, but was unable to. A preliminary breath test showed Nelson with a BAC of .113. A blood draw analysis is still pending.
"It's not the first person I have lost to a drunk driver. I think people are careless,” said Bradley.
Many of Gibson's friends have visited a growing memorial several times. It's located just a few feet from where he died. Gibson’s friends say they return to the site for one specific reason.
"He'd want us to be here. That is where he is. He is not here to hang out with us, so we are here to hang out with him,” said Bradley.
Ashley McCrary says she and Gibson were in the early stages of dating.
"He made me really focus on the positives instead of the negatives in my life and brought out a better side of me,” said McCrary.
His friends are remembering the good times.
"He used to blow you up at 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. Just waking up and him not being on your phone asking to hang out or go with you somewhere,” said Kylie Schmitz.
The friends are now left to hold those memories tight.
Nelson faces one count of manslaughter.