My girlfriend best friend since she was in the 5th grade died last tues. How many of you still have friends like that? and I went to his funeral yesterday. He was a great guy very funny and only 21 years old.
the only reason I mention this is because I have on some occasions raced my m3 on the street, and have been in many races as a passenger in my friends cars through high school. About the time I got my m3 (3yrs ago) I stopped street racing and started going to auto-x, track events and stuff. I just thought street racing was a needless risk. It never really hit me though why.
Burbank, CA Los Angles 1pm last tues. (If you live in the area stop at the memorial and think about what can happen)
PJ (Patrick Joseph) was on his motorcycle driving back from college last tues. On burbank blvd. in between havenhurst and balboa. Those of you that know the area understand why it's a good spot to race. It is right next to a golf course has a 50mph speed limit and not alot of cops, burbank a major street splits into four lane with a dirt center divider and the speed limit at this stretch is 50mph. So he was riding his moto back from school when somewhere ahead of him in the oposing lanes were 2 cars drag racing from a light when for some reason (one can come up with many reasons)one of the cars lost control slid into center divider (which was nothing more than a curbed dirt patch) aparently the car hit the curb slid into a small tree breaking the tree in half and slid into oncoming traffic. PJ pro bably had no time to react and was hit by the out of control car. His body was thrown some distance landing dead in a pool of growing blood. As cars that drove by stopped and huddled around the body doing nothing! A man that saw the accident in his rearview pulled over and ran to the scene he held my friend in his arms and tryed helping him as much as he could. But He died quickly. To make this story much worse it was latter found that the out of control "fast&furious driver" was also drunk! at 1pm in the afternoon on a tues! Well that 23year old drunk racing driver is as we speak in a jail cell awaiting trial for murder 1! they never caught the other racer. The man who held my drying friend in his arms in the last seconds apparently had a sister that died the sme way and he is devasted. He was at the wake, has visited with the parents and some of my friends told me that every time the stop or drive by the memorial at the scene that guy is there....must be very hard for him.
He was really my girlfriends best friend, i had hung out with him a couple of times and stuff, once we went to a snowboarding trip together but mostly I did not know him that well, she did. my girlfriend has been gone all week to be with friends and help with various things. I did not go to the wake or the viewing. But yesterday I went to the funeral. I have never buried any of my friends before. I sat ther in the chapel looking at the casket with all the flowers around it with his high school football jersey draped over it. I could't help but think "...that could of be me soooo many times," because as i street race as many on the board here do ocasionally. I never thought I could kill myself or worse others. I'm also just as enthusiastics about my m3 as I am my motorcycles. I come from a motocycle family. I roadraced at willowsprings for 2 years in high school and now i enjoy riding my ducati (sold it a couple of months ago) or going to to the desert and riding some trails on my dirtbike. Riding a moto you always know that what a fender bender for a car could be deadly for in in a moto. You kind of accept and repect the danger involved. So it hit me in a special way because as a rider I can imagine what he went through I try to think to myself what I would have done, or maybe I would have avoided the accident but the reality is that i probably would of ended up just like him....a couple of days later my girlfriend asked me in tears "do you have to ride a motocycle?" i quickly answered a resounding "yes". It's what i love, there is nothing better that flying up a dusty trail on my dirt bike or zipping thru the canyons on my street bike or just crusing PCH and feeling the ocean breeze and the thunder of an engine under me, likwise driving my screming S14 up a canyon or taking through 2,3rd gear on a sunny day. It's one of the reasons i live for or that makes me enjoy life, I'm a engine/car/moto nut. Only a racing nut would cry like a girl when his favorite racing driver died(senna 94). If I died on a racetrack I would die happy man, if I died like this or in similar circumstaces I would hate it.
So am I going to stop doing any of these things? no, but I'm not street racing anymore. Not that I do it alot ( maybe 4 times a year) but it's just not worth it for me because it can possibly prevent me from doing/seeing the things I live for. I could of been the poor fool sitting in jail right now awaiting trial for murder 1. or I could of been underground and just a memory in my friends hearts.
Yesterday as I watched 50 or so of his friends pick up a shovels(as is the jewish tradition) and dump dirt in this hole where there friend now lay, I though about the few times I met this person and how many memories these people had of him and what a hole in peoples lives a person makes when they leave. As i saw a stream of devastated people shovel dirt on their friend and thought to myself that I do not want to go out doing something stupid as street racing or worse sit in a fuckin jail for a long time and living with the image of the person I just killed because some high school kid with a civic that just saw FastNfurious wanted to race me. SO from now on no more street racing for me. I'M NOT GOING TO STOP SOING WHAT I LOVE THOUGH, I bought a 68' 2002 and and slowly every month making into a race car. Where I will enjoy my life blasting through gears and hearing my great 4cyl engine screaming I'm just going to do it at tracks and auto-x's.....life is short and you can't stop living.
Things that I have learned i hope you will take to your hearts and really think about, because I would not want to go, see or hear about any of your funerals. This might sound dramatic but as one famous man once said "shit will happen, always happens and will happen to you someday" another one comes to mind " there are two kinds of racers, one who crashed and the ones who will crash"
please think about this,
- Please DO NOT drink and drive, people are added to this statistic every day. my friend just happend to be the one added to the list that day. Besides if you get a DUI you can't drive! Isn't that the point anyway!
-Please try not to street race. THis is a hard one. It's so tempting you have done it so many times before with no problems.....it' late a night your engine is asking for it and you know you ar going to smoke this guy next to you....it might be hard to resist...I hope next time you do race you don't hurt anyone else but yourself. It is such a BIG risk to take. A few of you migh remember a few months ago a guy in vette was racing a guy in a lambo in florida and the guy in the lambo hit a volvo in oncoming traffic and killed himself and the volvo driver the corvette spun and hit a fence. Even though the vette driver wasn't involved in the accident he was charged with murder. I remember there was a big debate over if they should charge the other racer. But remember this : YOU do NOT know the skill of the other driver. If he loses control of his car and kills someone you could be charged with MURDER or Manslaughter. Prison is not a place you want to be (noracing, cars or bikes there). I just imagined myself; a young 22 year old dotcom employee(not anymore) have 2 cars 1 bike and recently bought a condo....all my friends and my toys and the good stuff I have in life could be gone in seconds, you life could change from your cosy life to living in a jail cell the same night! just because that idiot in a civic didn't know how to handle his car and killed someone...Somthing out of your control has ended you life you now sit in jail with no m3, no friends, no girls, no nothing because of someone else...think about that next time. Go to auto-x, track days, drivers schools, drag strips instead
-Enjoy life, it is shorter than we think. Ask that girl that you like out but have been afraid to, buy that project car anyways (fuck it put it on you credit card), go to the track, go dancing with your friends and get drunk and have them take pictures of you throwing up(no driving), take you wife on a romantic vacation next weekend(maybe to montery?and inbetween romatic stuff catch a race a lagunaseca!) whatever just don't put off shit y
ou wanna do, just do it. If there is one thing I learned from being brasilian and living in brasil it's that, people are poor but they are mostly happy. It's not like that here in the U.S. Enjoy life my friends!!
I sincearly hope none of you ever have to got to your friends funeral because some out of control or drunk street racer killed them or they were street racing themselfs and plowed into a pole.
carpe diem my friends!
(seize the day)
68' 2002 soon to be race car
96 XR440 dirt bike
91' Ducati 951 (sold)
p.s- Hope I don't sound like a rambling idiot.
Some pics I took of the memorial site.
His mom's web site memorial
Latest casualty e46///M3 driver from roadfly board.