The motorcycle community has come together to remember a Lubbock teen killed in an accident over the weekend.
Donny Waldenmayer, 15. was riding his motorcycle along I-40 when he attempted to pass a semi truck around 3:30 p.m. Friday. DPS says the driver of the truck didn't see the teen, and began to veer into his lane. That caused Waldenmayer to slam into a guardrail. Now we're learning his father was riding in front of him as they were headed back to Lubbock from a trip.
Mike Terry met the 15-year-old and his father about a month ago. He says he was proud of the duo who found common ground in riding.
"His dad was teaching him a more responsible way to ride. It was their passion, they shared that together," Terry said.
Terry is the head of the Riders Support Alliance.
"We raise money to support families with financial assistance who have lost a rider in a motorcycle accident. We also offer a support at funerals," he said.
So like the non-profit has done for other fallen riders, they will ride at Waldenmayer's funeral as a support system for the family. Terry says it will be particularly tough this time.
"This one hits pretty hard for a lot of us just because of his age. A lot of us are parents," he said.
He says Waldenmayer's death was not a lack of experience. DPS says the teen was wearing a helmet, but the semi-truck driver simply didn't see him. At the age of 15, DPS says, you can have a motorcycle license.
Terry says the teen's father is still in shock seeing the accident.
"He loved his son very much," Terry said.
This is an example of why, Terry says, they promote awareness.
"We are harder to spot than a car. It is more difficult to see us coming," he said.
Not only did Waldenmayer enjoy his motorcycle, he was an avid hockey player, played guitar and was a good student at Frenship High School.
"He was a sophomore here. He moved here in the 8th grade. In that few years he built a circle of friends and that circle is hurting today," said Frenship ISD Spokesperson Andy Penney.
Penney says five counselors were on staff Monday as student returned without their friend.
"It's never easy when something like this happens," he said.
And it won't be easy for a while, but through the grieving process Terry says everyone will remember the teen who died doing what he loved.
"He might of been really young, but he carried himself really well. He was very laid back and he was very mature for his age," Terry said.
Waldenmayer's funeral will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday at Christ the King Cathedral in Lubbock. His graveside service will follow at 3 p.m. in Canyon.
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