COBB COUNTY, Ga. – When the life of a loved one is suddenly taken, the ripple of sorrow travels quickly and deeply.
Sometimes, the tragedy inspires a movement that could ensure a safer future.
For the friends and family of 30-year-old Carlisle Lucas Spencer, known as Luke Spencer, his fatal accident on April 11 has encouraged them to hold a remembrance ride that will promote motorcycle awareness.
At 9 a.m. on May 17, bikers and supporters are invited to ride from the scene of the accident at the intersection of Bells Ferry Road and Ga. 92 to Swift-Cantrell Skate Park in Kennesaw.
Spencer lived and worked in Forsyth County for several years before moving to Kennesaw with his wife and two sons.
Spencer’s lifelong friend Jonathan Thompson said they will set up a tent with a sound booth in the parking lot of the skate park and pass out bumper stickers.
“It’s just sad,” Thompson said. “Everyone seems to have a motorcycle death story, and I think more awareness could change this.”
Thompson has reached out to Lance Malone Motorcycle Awareness Inc., the group that makes the “Look twice – Save a life. Motorcycles are everywhere” bumper sticker, Gold Wing Road Riders Association and other street bike clubs Spencer was affiliated with for support.
Thompson said he has taken several defensive driving courses over the years, and not once were motorcycles mentioned. He said because motorcycles are smaller and faster, people do not see them and misinterpret depth perception.
Spencer’s wife, Corey Owens, said more motorcycle awareness needs to be included in driver’s manuals and education.
“We want to try and prevent or at least lower the fatality rate for motorcyclists and drivers in general,” Owens said. “It’s about paying more attention on the road.”
Owens said Spencer was on his way back from buying batteries for their 3-month-old son’s baby swing when the accident happened about 4 p.m. April 11.
Spencer’s 2005 Yamaha R1 struck the right side of a Kia Sorento making a left turn onto Bells Ferry Road.
The driver, Robert Emmett Flavin, 63, was charged with vehicular homicide and failure to yield, according to Cherokee County incident reports.
Thompson said the Swift-Cantrell Skate Park was chosen as the ride’s destination, so everyone can gather and join in on a “celebration skate session.”
For those who knew him, Spencer was an extraordinarily talented skate boarder.
He made a name for himself at skate parks in Atlanta and at Forsyth County’s Fowler Park.
“We need to keep the remembrance gathering and skate session a celebration of life, because that is the way Luke was,” Thompson said. “He was all about perseverance, good vibes and making people happy.”
Spencer’s celebration of life service was held on April 26 at his home church, Unity North Atlanta, in Marietta.
Donations to Spencer’s family are being sent to Corey Owens: PO Box 3595, Suite 116, Canton Road, Marietta, Ga. 30066.