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Family and friends promote bike safety through tragedy
Colleen Schmidt, CTV Calgary
Published Monday, July 15, 2013 4:58PM MDT
Last Updated Monday, July 15, 2013 6:26PM MDT
A memorial was held on Monday for a young motorcyclist who died last week in a crash and family and friends hope it will be a painful reminder of the dangers of speeding.
Brennan Kootnekoff, 22, was killed after he crashed his bike into the back of a SUV last Tuesday on Memorial Drive.
On Monday, dozens of riders joined a procession along Memorial Drive to honour the young man and the group slowed down near a make-shift memorial to pay their respects.
“He was a very lovable kid,” said Brennan’s dad Jim Kootnekoff. “All the crazy stuff that a young man would want to do with his father, we did it, there and back and in between.”
Investigators don't know exactly what happened, but it is believed excessive speed was a factor.
“There really are no words, but I can tell you that it’s a shock when anyone dies but when your best friend, your son dies, it’s a double whammy and it hurts. It really does,” said Jim.
Brennan's father, Jim, hopes his son’s death will bring awareness to other riders and motorists about bike safety on the roads.
“Safety cannot be overrated and safety comes in many different measures. It comes in equipment that you wear, on your body, on your head, on your hands and your feet. If comes by the choice of bike that you make, could be too much for you. It certainly comes from the lack of training that a lot of people do,” said Jim. “Anybody can ride a straight line, there’s no talent required. Turning, stopping, starting, accident avoidance, knowing where to look, picking your line, braking, conditions, gravel, rain, other riders, other drivers. It’s a two-way street, I have to emphasize that and I can say and recommend that any person take the time to either get trained by somebody that truly knows how to ride and cannot just ride fast, but a skilled rider with experience and skills.”
Jim says there are many schools and resources out there for riders to learn the basics before they hit the road.
There were 232 collisions on city streets involving motorcycles in 2012 and three of those were fatal.
(With files from Kathy Le)