Posted 02 September 2008 - 07:29 PM
Sean was riding with his buddy, David Sanders, known as WingNut. Sean and David had switched bikes with Sean riding David's Wing and David on Sean's '07 FJR. They were riding on US 441 south of Clayton, GA on a section of multi-lane divided highway. The weather had been great all day; but they found themselves heading into a heavy rain squall. After a few miles in the heavy rain, David observed a Dodge Durango SUV aquaplaning onto the median. He accelerated on the FJR and missed the out of control SUV. Looking back in his mirrors, he did not detect Sean's headlights on the Wing. He turned back as quickly as he could and upon arriving at the scene of the accident, found his friend and ours, dead at the scene as a result of his head on collision with the SUV. The SUV driver was a young female school teacher traveling with a small child. They survived the crash.
I was fortunate to know Sean as a result of his postings on this forum and through his participation with the Georgia FJR Rider Group. Sean joined two rides with us and was a fine participant in both. On our prior ride for BBQ in Cashiers, we succeeded in getting him very wet along with sharing a roaring hail storm in the mountains of NC.
Sean and David joined us Sunday morning at Two Wheels Only in Suches, GA. To give a flavor of Sean's passion for riding his FRJ, he had logged almost 150 miles from his home in McDonough, GA south of Atlanta upon his arrival at TWO. We had planned a ride up Hwy 60 to US64 along the Ocoee River where the Olympic kayaking events were held where we planned to join with Don and his wife, Christine (Fubar) and Rich (shokdimn) from Tennessee. We had a wonderful round of greetings, took some photos, and then headed NE on TN 30 and 315, two incredibly fine motorcycling roads through the forest of TN. Our interim destination was the Tellico Café where we had a great lunch and some even partook of a southern specialty, Green Tomato Soup.
Gearing up, our next goal was the Cherohala Skyway, about 55 miles of some of the best sweepers in the Appalachians. We had a super time with moderate traffic and after reaching the approximately mile high crest; we stopped for conversation and to say Good Bye to some of our group who planned to motor on to the east. MotorcycleEd from SC planned to motor home and nightlife from SC was camping in Caruso, NC. It was in Sean and David's plan to go on to Deals Gap where David planned to hang out and watch the activity at the Tail of the Dragon store while Sean took his FJR onto The Dragon for the first time. We could tell he was sooo enthusiastic about the forthcoming ride on The Gap. After a grand tour of the Dragon, Sean equipped his FJR with a Dragon decal or two and he and David headed south toward his fate with Destiny.
Thus, this tragedy unfolds. David told me in our telephone conversation just how meaningful and inspiring Sean had found this group ride in the Appalachians to be. He loved his FJR and even rode it about 90 miles round trip to work on most days. He previously had a 750 Yamaha and a 1992 Concours. He considered his FJR to be his best bike ever and had just discovered the joys of sport touring on it this past year. He bought it on August 2, 2007 and joined the forum the same day! He gave back to his riding community by sponsoring a ride for an injured buddy and participated in the Atlanta Ride for Kids. He was a very helpful and knowledgeable poster always willing to give great advice to travelers using his expertise as a professional big rig driver. Read his post and get a flavor of a Big Guy with a Great Heart.
Is there a moment when you recognize that your time on earth is short? Sean was several minutes behind our group after cresting the Cherohala. Usually, he is right there with the group. David reported to me that Sean had told him he stopped just to see the countryside from the heights of the Skyway and reflect upon it for awhile as he had never done so before. Sport touring does carry its own fast forward clock, doesn't it?
Sean is survived by his wife, Karen, and a daughter, Bailey, who is 5 years old. Sean was 34 years old, a strapping 6'2" and 275 lbs. He served in the US Marine Corps from 1992 to 1995 and was an infantry mortarman. His family was from West Virginia just to the west of Lewisburg where our EOM is to be held. Coincidentally, he had done a sport tour of his home area last fall and just barely had figured out that there WAS an EOM near his home.
A viewing will be held at the Cannon & Cleveland Funeral Home in McDonough on Friday between 2 and 4 PM and again between 6 and 8 PM. His funeral will be at 11 AM on Saturday.
Please express your regard and sympathy for Sean, his family, and friends. I hope to gather and post some photos of our fallen brother in the next day or so. We will miss our fallen brother.
Located NE Atlanta
Posted 02 September 2008 - 07:39 PM
Mike: Please let me know if there is anything I can do. Unfortunately, I'm going to be out of town on business and can't make the service or funeral.
Posted 02 September 2008 - 09:53 PM
IBA Number 45197 CBA #3
Posted 02 September 2008 - 09:59 PM
It really saddens me to read stuff like this.
Posted 02 September 2008 - 10:03 PM
In addition to Sean's family, my heart goes out to the woman and her child...this will probably scar them for many years.
2008 Yamaha FJR1300A Black
Posted 02 September 2008 - 10:13 PM
My deepest sympathy for Sean's wife Karen, and little Bailey.
Rest in peace Sean.
Posted 02 September 2008 - 10:20 PM
While I didn't know Sean aside from his posts, I was hoping to see him sign up for the Ga FJR Rally next month. At the very least, I'd like to suggest a moment of silence at the rally next month in his honor.
Posted 02 September 2008 - 10:31 PM
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Bought an 87 VFR700F2 9/7/09- Project bike!!
Posted 02 September 2008 - 11:03 PM
God Speed on your journey into the Heavens.
Rest in Peace...
"Land of the FREE, because of the BRAVE..." Thank a VETERAN everyday!!
My SON is serving this GREAT COUNTRY... As I did. What have you done for FREEDOM?
(Current rides): 2010 Victory Cross Country Black, 2010 Ducati Multistrada White.
Posted 03 September 2008 - 12:17 AM
Posted 03 September 2008 - 12:32 AM
My heartfelt sympathies to them. RIP Sean.
Mike, thanks for your account of a very sad day.
Check out the Italian FJR Forum
I'm a very indecisive person; I've had four sex-change operations in as many years.
Posted 03 September 2008 - 12:56 AM
1987 Goldwing silver
2004 MSF rider coach
Posted 03 September 2008 - 02:23 AM
Condolences to Karen & Bailey Godspeed Sean..
Scottish by birth, American by choice, and damn proud of both.
2007 Yamaha FJR1300AE
2005 Honda GL1800
1980 Honda GL1100
Posted 03 September 2008 - 02:52 AM
Sean was a fun loving guy, full of character. You could tell by that silly red Mohawk thing he wore on top of his helmet. He said that Bailey liked to wear his helmet and called him “Rooster Head”.
Sincere condolences to Karen and Bailey. If there is anything we can do, please let us know.
Sean, you will be missed, and David, you are in our thoughts and prayers too.
Mike & Michele (aka Mr & Mrs Twisty)
"Life is to short to be a candy-ass." - RuffJeep (ADV Riders Forum)
Posted 03 September 2008 - 03:12 AM
Posted 03 September 2008 - 04:02 AM
A tragic loss for everyone. RIP.
Posted 03 September 2008 - 04:48 AM
My sincerest condolences to his wife and daughter. Sean is at peace, I hope someday they can reconcile this and find peace too.
<img src="http://i89.photobuck...StatesMap3.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" />
Posted 03 September 2008 - 05:15 AM
My condolences and prayers for his family and friends.