CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - News of the motorcycle wreck has traveled quickly and now bikers are speaking out against reckless drivers. Wink News spoke with friends and fellow riders in Charlotte County who are mourning the loss of one of their own.
Biker Steve Cogan says every motorcycle crash affects him in some way, but this one hits close to home.
"For a woman to keep going knowing she just hit a motorcycle and not stopping as soon as she knew she hit it..." he said.
Cogan is a motorcycle mechanic and says 54-year old Carl Patrick was a part of Charlotte County's motorcycle community.
The Punta Gorda motorcyclist was killed after Estero resident Donna Lynne Brown rear-ended Patrick's motorcycle and dragged it, along with Patrick, for about three miles.
A Lee County Sheriff's Office witness saw sparks coming from the undercarriage of Brown's SUV as it fled the scene. Brown was stopped in the outside lane of U.S. 41, just north of Corkscrew Road. Patrick was pronounced dead on the scene.
Fellow rider Bob Weipert was Patrick's friend and former roommate and says he's still in shock.
"I didn't know what to think at first. I saw it on Facebook this morning and I just just kinda went, 'Wow you gotta be kidding me. This can't be it. He's a stand-up person, I mean, he'd bend over backwards for anybody, do anything for anybody. He's a great grandfather, great dad and grandfather the whole nine yards," said Weipert via phone.
Eddie Arnone owns Harborview Choppers but even after more than four decades on the road says this crash hit him hard.
"An accident is one thing but when you hear someone gets dragged it kinda turns my stomach," Arnone said.
"It just makes you more aware," said Cogan, "People don't pay attention to motorcycles. They don't see them. They don't hear them."
Still, even after the news and amidst the dangers, these life-long bikers say they will continue to ride.
"I've been in my own fair share of accidents. Get back on the horse."
Brown, is being charged with DUI manslaughter and property damage, hit and run with death, DUI and careless driving.