Motorcyclist Killed En Route To Blessing Of The Bikes

Posted at 10:40 PM, May 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-19 04:01:41-04

denneyGRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 18, 2014) — A motorcyclist who was killed on his way to the 42nd annual Blessing of The Bikes has been identified.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Matthew Denney, 42, was killed after losing control of his bike on Peach Ridge Avenue, North of 8 Mile Road, Sunday morning.

FOX 17 stopped by the Blessing of the Bikes, where the father who performed the blessing spoke out about losing one of their own.

“We’re very sorry for that and we want to lift him up to God…his family, loved ones and ask God to be with them in a special way,” Father Ron Schneider said.

The victim’s mother told FOX 17 that her son lost control after hitting a pothole.  Deputies said Denney wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Still, the incident has people questioning if enough is being done to help repair the roads in Michigan after a brutal winter. Jerry Byrne, director of maintenance with the Kent County Road Commission, said crews are patching the roads five days a week but that rural areas like where the crash happened aren’t their focus.

“It’s a very low volume road,” Byrne said. “Our energy so far this year has been putting down over 5,000 tons on the busy roads: the Ada Drives, the 68th Streets, the Cascade Roads…the high volume area roads first.”

Byrne said that the KCRC has put nearly half a million dollars into repairing the roads. Still, he admits he’s not seeing as much progress as he hoped. He said the heavy amount of rainfall has slowed down the process.

Despite not getting to damaged roads as fast as he’d like, Byrne said drivers and motorcyclists should remain aware of their surroundings.

“This is the second fatality this weekend, ya know, those always concern us and we wish and pray that those didn’t happen but they do unfortunately.”