Wrong-way crash victim is laid to rest
Posted at: 08/10/2012 3:31 AM
| Updated at: 08/10/2012 6:41 PM
By: Ray Levato | WHEC.com
Funeral services were held Friday for the motorcyclist killed by a car going the wrong way last weekend on I-390 in Brighton.
Dan Bell, an avid biker, would have been 40 years old next week. The pastor, Father Thomas Wheeland said Bell’s life was short measured in years, but long when measured in love, joy and happiness. Bell’s life touched many, including his motorcycle family.
The roar of motorcycle engines filled the air as riders escorted the hearse to the church. Bell's family said he loved to ride his motorcycle - especially late at night when fewer cars were on the road.
The accident happened about 1:00 am Sunday. Sheriff's investigators say Alphonse Chimera was driving southbound in the northbound lanes of I-390 near West Henrietta Road, and struck Bell's motorcycle head-on.
Bell was remembered by his wife Tiffany in a touching and tearful farewell. She told their eight children and step-children, "Daddy loves you and is proud of each and every one of you." She continued, "I'll never understand why this happened. But I try to remember how Dan talked about how difficult life could be sometimes, and how he wished he were in Heaven with God. And now he is."
Dick Sheehan, Bell's cousin, said, “I was impressed with everything that she has gone through the last couple of days to compose herself and to stand there was very impressive.”
Before the funeral Mass, other bikers gathered at the Medley Center for the ride to Charlotte.
Iris Kocik, ride organizer, said, “The ride is just to support our fallen rider. Riding a motorcycle is very much a community and it just bonds us. It's an event to celebrate his life and send him off with a bang so to speak.”
Bell's wife Tiffany decided to ride to the cemetery on the back of a motorcycle right behind the hearse. At the end of the service she also read from a poem. She said her husband raised a toast to all his friends, asked them to raise their glasses, and “let their engines roar”.
Sheehan said, “But to send him off like that and for her to ride on the back of that bike in the front, she's got a lot of courage, lot of courage.”
News10NBC spoke to Bell’s wife, Tiffany, earlier this week. She said their younger children could not fully comprehend that their daddy will never come home again.
Sheriff’s deputies are still investigating the circumstances and are still waiting on toxicology results for both drivers.
Funeral services for Chimera are scheduled for Saturday.