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On April 5, Michael Everett Junior died in a motorcycle accident aged just 23, when his Harley-Davidson came off the road in the town of Berthoud, near his home in Larimer County, Colorado.
His grieving family organised a motorbike rally in Michael’s honour and – on May 15 – Michael’s mum Diane took her late son’s 2012 Honda CBR motorcycle to join over 80 other riders in the memorial ride.
Sadly, she died after her bike also came off the road.
Diane's husband, also named Michael, says that a horse jumped out in front of his wife’s bike as she was at the front of the group at around 12:30pm causing her to swerve violently.
Diane, 51, slid into a ditch at high speed, where she collided with a drainage pipe and was thrown off the bike.
She was transported to Medical Centre of the Rockies, where she was later pronounced dead of her injuries.
Diane's stepson Joshua was also on the ride: ”As we were getting closer,” he told the Coloradoan, “I could see bike parts and I think we both knew what happened."
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He continued: "All I could think of was, 'Not again. I can't lose two of them.' ''
"I think she was fighting at the scene to stay alive but at the same time I don't think she wanted to come back but instead felt my little brother's spirit and chose to be with him,'' he added.
"Our mother was hurting after Michael died, and we knew she was hurting but she was so courageous that she didn’t let on she was hurting. I know my mom is happy and in a better place, no longer in pain.''
“The second [the ride] was planned Diane knew she wanted to ride Michael’s bike in it,” says her daughter-in-law Jessica. “She wanted to celebrate her son’s life doing something they both had a passion for.”
Jessica has since launched a fundraiser to help Diane’ husband Michael cope with the expense fo two funerals in such a shirt time.
Colorado State Patrol said that they suspected excessive speed had been a contributing factor in the tragic incident.
Troopers did not report anything in the road that might have caused the crash, simply stating that Diane “failed to negotiate the curve”.
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