Waco: Memorial ride honors bikers recently killed in accidents

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The local biker community took a memorial ride Saturday in memory of four fellow bikers who have been killed in accidents in the last 4 months.

(Photo by: Erin Zeller)

Local bikers Chase Pollard, 21, and Chip Sudduth, 42, both died in November in separate accidents, and Calvin Collins died in December. Most recently, Craig Fernando, 39, was hit and killed by a truck on Hewitt Drive on the night of March 6.

"Chase was just going to work, and Craig was just going down the street and somebody tried to cut in front of traffic to get a hamburger," biker Tyson Holloway said.

Russell Homeyer organized the memorial ride, “Save the Bikers,” to honor his lost friends, and to spread awareness about sharing the road. "We don't stand a chance against those vehicles. They take our lives," Homeyer said.

He said, “We’ve had so many taken, we just want to keep the rest of us safe.” Holloway added, "Back to back to back, it's been a hard few months for all of us."

Holloway said, “You know you’re going to lose people sometimes, but when you lose the good guys, the safe riders, because somebody wasn’t paying attention, it makes it harder to swallow.”

The bikers said they have a system for when tragedy strikes. "It's like roll call, rider down, is everybody OK, so they sound off, say I'm good, or I'm at home, or I'm not on my bike. Then with Craig, he was the only person who wasn't answering that night," Holloway said.

Saturday before Fernando’s funeral service, the bikers rode through the streets of Central Texas in his memory. Homeyer described how the bikers treat one another like family. "It's devastating, there's not very many of us out here, but we're a tight knit family, these are our brothers and sisters," he said.

The bikers said they want other drivers to be aware of their presence and avoid distracted driving. "You can save a life just by keeping your head up," Holloway pleaded.