Several people from the same motorcycle group were involved in crashes recently. Surviving members now look to raise awareness for rider safety.
In late July, Carson Smith stood along side dozens of others at 51st Avenue and Union Hills Drive to mourn the loss of 18-year-old Tucker Colby.
“I know he’d be overwhelmed by the people that showed up to support,” said Smith back on July 31.
The vigil was held just hours after Colby, Smith’s best friend, died at the hospital.
At the time, Smith said he wanted to advocate for motorcycle rider safety to honor his late best friend.
Smith was also involved in the crash that ultimately took Colby’s life but only suffered road rash.
Smith and Colby were riding together when the driver of the car crashed into several motorcycle riders. Police say the driver admitted to drinking before running a red light.
Calvin Klehr was at the vigil for Tucker that day. He, Smith and Colby – all rode in the same motorcycle group.
“It’s scary now,” said Klehr about getting back on his bike.
When Klehr was riding his street bike after the memorial, he was hit by a United States Postal Service truck at 51st Avenue and Acoma Drive.
”My whole right arm just basically shattered,” said Klehr.
After days in the hospital, Klehr says he lucky to be alive and recovering. He’s now looking for work he can do while he heals.
USPS sent ABC15 a statement saying, “The Glendale Police are currently investigating this situation. They will receive the full cooperation of the United States Postal Service. Our thoughts and prayers are with Calvin during this difficult time.”
“I woke up in a hospital and I’m like, ‘Tucker just passed. I’m thinking in my head, am I going to make it?’” said Klehr.
Then on Tuesday, Smith was riding a motorcycle near Pebble Creek Parkway and I-10 in Goodyear when he was hit and killed by a driver who police say, ran a red light.
Friends and family held a vigil for the 19-year-old on Thursday night at the busy intersection. Mourning friends lit candles near Mountain Dew, Nerds Clusters and toy motorcycles as family told us off camera Smith loved to laugh and loved to ride.
Goodyear police determined the driver that hit Smith was under the influence when they drove through the red light causing the fatal crash.
Two best friends that have known each other since they were kids killed on motorcycles by suspected impaired drivers just weeks apart.
”It is absolutely that you can be so naive and just senseless of the ones around you, the world around you,” said Margret St. John, who was friends with both.
ADOT data shows in 2021, there were 2,672 motorcycle crashes. More that 21 hundred involved injuries. 163 were fatal.
There were over 120 alcohol-related motorcycle crashes, 20 were fatal.
”Start being more cautious, we are on the road, we’re not going away anytime soon,” said St. John.
Each of the families have set up GoFundMe pages to help cover expenses: