I am sure many of you have heard about the terrible and tragic motorcycle club collision here in the Southern California desert, near Ocotillo this past Saturday, the 13th. For those that have not, here is a link to the initial news report.
We always see and hear about crashes on the news, etc, but this is one of the worse I have ever seen. Unfortunately for us, this hit us and many friends especially hard.
To summarize, the Lakeside Saddletramps, a local Harley bike club, was on a leisurely ride throughout the east part of San Diego County. This was an anniversary ride celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their bike club. They were riding in a pack of 12 bikes, on a 2-lane highway, in the middle of the desert. A Honda car driving about 90 mph decided to pass the pack, but failed to make sure there was no oncoming traffic. A van traveling in the opposite direction (towards the bikes) was forced to swerve to avoid the Honda, went off the side of the road, over-corrected, then came back onto the road, directly into the pack of bikes.
The end resultÖ 5 dead, 6 injured, many of them critically. The dead include 4 members of the bike club, and the passenger in the van. A CHP officer on the news said it was the worse incident she had been to in 23 years. The nearest trauma center was all the way back in San Diego, close to 100 miles away. Several of the most critical were flown by helicopter to San Diego.
To make this even more tragic and senseless, the driver of the Honda that caused the collision did not stop, and as of this time, has not been found.
This had been especially hard on us. Two of our very best friends for many years, Tonya and Wilson Trayer, are members of the club, and were near the front of the pack when the collision occurred. They were the second bike struck by the van. Very tragically, Tonya was killed instantly, and Wilson was very critically injured, and flown to the hospital. He has multiple fractures and other injuries, but at this time, it looks as though he will survive, depending on many factors. He is still in a coma, has been through a couple surgeries, and is looking at many more surgeries, as well as a very long recovery and rehab period of at least a year, depending on many things. As of right now, we are just hoping and praying he survives this very critical period.
Tonya and Wilson are the most loving, fun, and caring people I have ever met. I canít begin to explain all they have done for so many people, but believe me, they are very special. Other than the tragic and senseless loss of Tonya, and the very serious injuries to Wilson, they have three children, and a grandchild who all rely on them. I donít have to tell you how unbelievably devastated the children and other family members are. Fortunately, they have a huge support group of friends and family there for them.
There is going to be a memorial for Tonya this Sunday, and a blood drive Saturday. It looks like Wilson will be in need of a blood transfusion due to his extreme blood loss, and many surgeries. I believe this blood drive also benefits the other fellow victims of this incident.
We are doing everything we can for the children of Tonya and Wilson. In addition to their general needs of daily expenses of food, bills, etc, they are also looking at funeral arrangements, and other expenses. In addition, since Wilson will be in a wheelchair for at least one year, their home needs major modifications in order for his home to be wheelchair-accessible.
Kim and I have established an account that is dedicated at providing financial assistance strictly to Tonya and Wilsonís children. We will be accepting donations via PayPal, or any other mode you are able to help with. Everything is greatly appreciated.
This tragic incident comes at a very bad time, with the holidays approaching. Besides this being the clubís anniversary ride, I am sure Thanksgiving and Christmas will never be the same for the friends and families of the victims. I realize this is probably a very hard time to ask for donations for the children, but I have to do everything in my power to help the families involved. We have already decided our own families are not doing our traditional gift-giving, but instead have committed to helping these families.
For those in the San Diego area, if you would like to attend the memorial this Sunday, or help with the blood drive on Saturday, please feel free to contact me and I can provide the information. For those kind enough to be able to help with any kind of donation, no matter how small, it would be greatly appreciated. Please contact me for all the details.
Thank you very much in advance. It would be greatly appreciated by these children and their families for anything you can do to help.