Motorcycle ride remembers Erie biker

ERIE, Pa. -- Dozens gathered at the intersection of 10th and State streets for the Remembrance Ride for Rick Petruso.

It was at that location where the 57-year-old was critically injured after his motorcycle and a car collided on May 18th.

Petruso, a father of three and grandfather of three, died Sunday at UPMC Hamot.

At the site of the accident, bikers held a brief vigil.

"When my friend Vince Rizzone said a prayer, it actually brought a lot of tears to my eyes, because it meant so much to me. I'm going to really miss him," said fellow biker and friend Richard Travers.

Travers, who knew Petruso for 40 years, added, "At first I thought, ‘am I going to be able to do this and get on the bike and ride?’ But once I got on the bike, I realized I was going to do this for Rick."

Bikers rode to Bugger Funeral Homes and Crematory on West 38th Street and joined family and friends at a visitation.

Motorcyclists said it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and share the road.

"For the automobile drivers: when you get to a corner, look twice," said Travers.

"Just watch for everybody… even when someone makes eye contact with you, don't assume that they won't pull out in front of you, because I've had that happen,” said Vince Rizzone, chaplain and founder of Mission Riders, which organized the ride.

He said the motorcycle riding season is off to a bad start.

"Every time we see a death, we do something like this to raise awareness. May is Motorcyclists Awareness Month; and we're looking at three accidents already, a death and I'm thinking it could be a bad summer."

As they remember Petruso, they hope awareness can help prevent such a tragedy.

"He did everything he possibly could to make people feel good and he was always one above you," said Travers.

"Just a good, kind person. A real gentleman," said friend and biker Dan Knapp. "The world has lost a good, man. A good man. "


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