Fiancee's message following deadly motorcycle crash
SAGINAW, Mich. —
There were at least eight deadly motorcycle accidents in mid-Michigan this July.
Several of the motorcyclists involved were not wearing helmets.
One of the victims' loved ones is now urging drivers to be focused on the road and more aware of motorcyclists.
"You know... like kids play slug bug?" Shawna Sykes said. "Every time we've seen a motorcycle, whoever seen it first would say, 'Motorcycle!' just so we could teach our kids to look for them."
Looking out for motorcyclists is something Shawna said she wishes more people would do, especially after what happened last Friday.
Police said the driver of a van hit a motorcycle in Bridgeport on Washington and Sheridan.
The motorcycle belonged to Shawna's 38-year-old fiance, Jeremy Leonard.
"A little after 3 his dad called me," she said. "And his dad told me that he was in a motorcycle accident and he was dead and all I could think about was what am I gonna tell our kids."
Jeremy had three kids from a previous marriage and Shawna had four.
"But it wasn't his and mine," she said. "He treated them... they were our kids."
She said Jeremy loved his kids, loved to make people smile and loved to ride.
Shawna said, while it's a choice to wear a helmet in Michigan, it isn't a choice to not pay attention to the road.
"The fact that he didn't have a helmet on is not the reason why he died," she said. "People don't stop and look twice."
Now, all she has to look at is a foot rest.
"I wanted to see by chance if I could find something of his and I found this foot rest on the side of the road," she said. "That was across from where his bike was at."
Tuesday was the viewing and this Wednesday, Shawn said, she and their seven kids will lay Jeremy to rest.
A family friend set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs.
If you're interested in helping the family, you can click here.
Shawna said, if they exceed the asking amount, the money will go into a college fund for Jeremy's three kids.