RICHMOND, Va. -- Members of a Richmond, Va. and Laurel, Md. motorcycling club that were mowed down by an apparently asleep-at-the wheel trucker in North Carolina early Friday morning are truckers themselves, said one of the members of the Black Eagle Ryders MC.
"They all drive like really big trucks for a living that started this (club)," said "Truth" of Richmond before she rushed to Greensboro, NC, to be with her brothers and sisters in the riding club.
According to reports from North Carolina authorities, six of the club's motorcycles were pulled off on the shoulder of I-85 in Greensboro. Apparently they took a break (on their way to a motorcycle rally in Atlanta, Truth said). The unidentified driver of the big rig from Florida apparently fell asleep and ran off the road, plowing through the motorcycles. He may not have even noticed he had hit them until he pulled off a half-mile up the road because of a flat tire, from the crash, according to a police report.
"One witness who observed the actual impact said the tractor trailer driver drifted from the middle southbound travel lane and went right off the road into all six motorcycles," NC State Highway Patrol Master Trooper Christopher D. Knox said. " One of the bikers who was standing on the shoulder of the road was killed instantly. Two other riders who were standing on the roadside were seriously injured. Three others, including the female who was sitting on her bike, were treated for minor injuries at Moses Cone Hospital."
Killed in the 6 a.m. crash was "Serious One," the leader of the Maryland chapter and a committed father who was serious about riding, safety and his children, Truth said. "He's a great father. He loved, loved, loved to ride," she said. He was called Serious One or S.O. because "he had this serious look - seriously handsome, too. A really great, good-hearted guy."
Critically injured was a key member of the Richmond chapter, Ken Jefferson, known as "Networker," Truth said. He, like some other club members, is a UPS trucker.
He's fighting for his life. Four other riders were injured. Scraps of twisted motorcycles littered the interstate's median.
NC State Highway officials released the names of the victims along with the truck driver who has been charged in connection with the wreck Saturday morning.
Motorcyclist #1: Stable Condition - Jerome D. Howard of the 4400 block of Daisy Reid Avenue in Woodbridge.
Motorcyclist #2: Critical Condition - Kenneth N. Jefferson of the 4500 block of Winterbourne Drive in Chesterfield. His bike is a 2013 Harley Davidson
Motorcyclist #3: Treated for minor injuries and released by Moses Cone Hospital. This was the only rider who was sitting on the bike at the time of the crash. Caroline Campbell of the 4700 block of Cogbill Road in Chesterfield 23234. Her bike is a 2010 Honda.
Motorcyclist #4: injured/Treated – Michael A. Robinson Sr. of the 14800 block of Potomac Branch Drive in Woodbridge. His bike is a 2011 Harley Davidson.
Motorcyclist #5: Deceased – Arnie M. Morris of the 4400 block of Daisy Reid Avenue in Woodbridge. His bike was a 2013 Harley Davidson.
Motorcyclist #6: Injured/Treated – Gregory D. Harmon of the 4100 block of Windswept Court in Bowie Md. His bike was a 2012 Harley Davidson.
The driver of the semi, Daniel S. Serna of 7600 NW 5th Avenue in Plantation, Fla., has been charged with Felony Hit & Run and Misdemeanor Death at the request of the ADA, Knox said.
"At this point we think the driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel," Knox said.
Neither Serna nor the co-driver, Jacob Salazar of 8964 SW 206th Street in Cutler Bay, Fla, were injured. The semi is registered to EP Trucking Enterprises in Miami.
The crash remains under investigation.
Truth and other club members rushed to Greensboro. "We're a family. We call each other brothers and sisters and we look out for each other," she said during a stop south of Petersburg. She asked for prayers and support for their club, which has taken a tremendous blow but will motor on, she said.
She touched base with CBS 6 after arriving in Greensboro, reporting that Networker was moved to a Winston-Salem hospital for surgery. The other four riders appeared to be doing well, she said.