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Discussion Starter #1
This was from the local paper today keep this young mans family in our thoughts and prayers.

Airman dies after motorcycle collides with van


By Juliette Rule
[email protected]
Published in the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

CHEYENNE - She stopped and looked both ways, but she didn't see the motorcyclist. He couldn't stop in time to avoid crashing his new Yamaha motorcycle into the van.

The crash happened about 5 p.m. Monday at the intersection of Powderhouse and Four Mile roads. Airman Justin R. Souza died at the scene. The van's driver, Donna Martin, wasn't hurt, according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

Martin hasn't been cited in connection with the crash, but that could be pending.

The intersection is controlled by a stop sign on Powderhouse Road, on which Martin, 49, was southbound. Souza had the right of way as he was eastbound on Four Mile Road. The speed limit on Four Mile Road is 50 mph, and there's no reason to believe he was traveling faster than that, Sgt. Steve Townsend said.

Souza, 21, crashed into the passenger side of Martin's 1996 Pontiac van. He was wearing a helmet, and that doesn't surprise his friend.

"He was always safe about stuff," Airman 1st Class Jess Blanda said Tuesday. "He always made us wear our seat belts in the car when we were riding around with him."

Maybe the need to be safe was promoted by Souza's military career, through which he was assigned to security forces at F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Still, Souza was more sincere than others when it came to safety, Blanda said.

The young men had much in common, including rank, but it was just chance or luck that brought both to Cheyenne. The two men graduated from the same Indiana high school in Mishawaka, a town east of South Bend.

It was a bit of a surprise when they learned they were meeting the same recruiter. Souza graduated in 2002, Blanda a year later. They seemed to be in a career lockstep, at least as far as base assignments went, Blanda said.

It seemed wherever one was stationed, the other soon would show up. It happened in Missouri, then again in Texas, then in Cheyenne, Blanda said.

Blanda learned Souza was stationed here after a church softball game last summer. Both were home on leave. They were on opposing teams, and after the game, Souza's father greeted Blanda.

"I couldn't believe we were both here," Blanda said.

At home, both worked at the city's ice rink as ring guards. When they realized they each had a friend at F.E. Warren last fall, they organized a skating outing. Although both loved to skate, it was the only time they skated together at the IKON Center, Blanda said.

The two hung out through the fall, winter and spring. They talked about cars. It was something both enjoyed, but that's where the similarity ended. Souza was into tricked-out Hondas. Blanda favors classic muscle cars, he said.

Souza's faded, but stylishly ratty, jeans were a trademark.

"He always tried to be stylish," Blanda said. "Those holey jeans that are supposed to be stylish."

He held some admiration for Souza's style though.

"He was one of the few guys brave enough to wear pink," he said. "Yeah, on base, too."

On Monday, Souza was on his bright yellow Yamaha. It must have been new, Blanda said, because he didn't know his friend had a motorcycle.

The force of the crash ejected Souza from the motorcycle.

"He just couldn't avoid the collision," Townsend said.

Alcohol isn't being considered a factor in the crash.

"This is definitely hurtful to hear," Blanda said. "I just wanted to be sure (it was Souza) before I said anything more to anyone about it."

 

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at the track
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Sad to hear fellow AF riders go down. R.I.P.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Like the article says in so many words "He was doing it right including using all his riding gear and it still happens" I don't usaully worry about us riders not seeing things i worry about cagers not seeing us.
 

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Crunnnnnnnnnnnnchy
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He is a better place now. Rest In Peace

My prayers go out to his friends and family.
 
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