Hit and Run Victim Herman Walters III died doing something he was passionate about riding his motorcycle.
Herman Walters III died doing something he was passionate about — riding his motorcycle.
It’s an undeniable fact that accidents happen, and when they involve motorcycles the risk of fatalities is greater than for those on four wheels.
But for Juliana Baughman, the mother of the 31-year-old motorcyclist killed by a hit-and-run driver on July 28, she’ll always be left wondering whether or not her son might have survived had the driver did the right thing by stopping and calling for help immediately.
“Rocky,” as he was known to his friends and family, was born June 13, 1988, at Sinai Grace Hospital in Detroit. Ironically, that’s also the place where he died.
Rocky’s father, the late Herman “Skip” Walters, also rode a motorcycle and gave his son his first ride at the age of 4.
Rocky Walters grew up hunting and camping. The Westland resident also enjoyed working on motorcycles and cars, something that would serve him well in his career. He was employed by Victory Honda in Plymouth as a service technician.
According to his mother, who remarried and lives in Wyandotte, Rocky loved riding his bike and was a proud member of the Penetrators Motorcycle Club.
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Just after midnight, he was driving his Harley-Davidson on the Southfield Service Drive, near Schoolcraft in Detroit, when he was struck by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.
According to authorities, the driver did not stop to check on the victim. He or she just kept on driving.
“I need this person to feel something,” Baughman said. “If this was your family, is this how you would want them to be living? They need to turn themselves in.”
Baughman, who also rides a motorcycle, said her son was aware that drivers are too often distracted and don’t pay attention to motorcycles on the road.
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“We have to pay double attention, to see the faces of people who are driving to get a glimpse, to see if they are paying attention,” she said. “A lady cut him off about a month ago, in the left turn lane. His bike was damaged, but he wasn’t injured.”
On the day he was killed, he had just dropped off a friend at the clubhouse. He said he was going to a store when he got hit. It was that friend who got a phone call from the hospital, delivering the sad news that Rocky had been fatally wounded in the crash.
In situations such as this, every second counts, which leaves Baughman wondering if her son would have had a fighting chance had the person who struck him sent for help immediately.
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“We don’t know how long it took for someone to find him,” she said. “We just don’t know. They (the hit-and-run driver) hit him and left the scene. It would bring closure to find out who did this.”
Funeral services were held Aug. 3 at the Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home in Farmington.
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