A local motorcycle club is mourning the loss of a young woman who died following a collision on Anthony Henday Drive earlier this week.
Two women were sent to hospital Monday afternoon, one in critical condition, after the motorcycle they were riding was rear-ended by a cargo van on Anthony Henday Drive between 111 Avenue and Yellowhead Trail.
The 28-year-old passenger on the motorcycle died of her injuries on Tuesday, police said. She has been identified as Samantha Parish. Her mother, 47-year-old Tracey Parish, was driving the motorcycle at the time of the crash, according to Babes on Bikes founder Tammy Kidd.
“Tracey and her daughter were going out to Alberta Beach for a ride that day,” Kidd said Friday.
Kidd said Babes on Bikes is more than just a motorcycle club, it’s a family of women who support each other through good and bad. The club is planning a memorial ride in honour of Sam in May.
“The members themselves are very sad,” Kidd said. “The Facebook page for Babes on Bikes has a lot of condolences and a lot of get wells because the women, we support each other.”
Police said the women riding the motorcycle were heading north on the Henday when they slowed down behind a Ford F-150 and other traffic.
Officers said a Ford Econoline cargo van that was behind the motorcycle rear-ended the bike at “a high speed,” throwing the women from the bike.
The cargo van continued driving, striking a Nissan Altima, which police said was initially in front of the pickup truck.
A motorcycle painted white was set up as a way to honour the biker. The roadside memorial, typically called a ghost bike, is meant to mark an area where someone was seriously injured or killed.
Kidd said the bike gave her chills when she saw it.
“You saw the white bike with the flowers and you kind of went, ‘Ooo.’ It’s almost like having an angel watching over us and kind of protecting that space,” she said.
“For me, it was almost emotional to see it because you think, ‘Wow, people are coming together.’ The biker community is so tight and they’re so supportive and this was just one more thing for us to say we’re here and we’re here for each.”
She hopes the bike will also urge drivers to look out for motorcycles.
“Springtime is always really difficult because people have forgotten about us, and the scary part is that you might not hear us. We can be right beside you and you won’t hear us. You might not even see us unless you shoulder check but we are right beside you. We are sharing the road with you.”
Kidd said Tracey was recently released from hospital.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing, but police said Wednesday that no charges had been laid.
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