Memorial ride honors crash victim, raises funds for driver’s ed
It was a ride to save lives. One Syracuse man is turning his grief into action. With the help of almost 200 riders who rode in memory of Ken Mounsey's son, Erick, who died in a motorcycle crash in August, Mounsey is hoping some things can change.
"Why am I doing this? Last August, August 4th, I lost my son two weeks before his 21st birthday due to a distracted driver," says Mounsey.
And after seven months of grieving, he was ready to make a difference.
"I believe that you should take a negative and make a positive," Mounsey explains. "No matter how negative it is, there is always a positive."
That was when the first ever Fallen Riders Memorial Ride was born, to help every person who attends, remember.
"All of these people are affected. They're here because they lost somebody, or they know somebody who lost somebody," he adds. "Everyone out here is riding for their own particular reasons.
Mounsey's reason is simple: his son.
"His dad has put all of his energy into this, and I think it's helped him with his loss," says family friend Tracey Sleighter. She believes it's also an opportunity for people to stand together.
"Everybody pulls together for events like this for their loved ones. This is just very supportive community," she explains. "I have chills. I just can;t believe that so man people are pouring in for this. It's amazing."
It's a community that hopes to implement an additional curriculum to the Wawasee School District's Driver's Ed program, with the help of the money raised from Saturday's ride.
"I hope it raises some awareness," says Sleighter. "It will help the kids as they're learning.
"Open your eyes, look twice, and save a life," adds Mounsey.
Mounsey knows he can't bring his son back, but he is determined to make sure no other family deals with the same grief.
It takes you and I to make a difference to save another rider," he says. "I don't want anybody else to have to bury their child."