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Edmonton motorcycle community honours fatal crash victim

WATCH ABOVE: A large group of motorcyclists gathered to pay respects to Justin Martin, the 33-year-old that died in a motorcycle crash on Scona Rd. Sarah Komadina reports.

Motorcycle community Ride in Paradise – Edmonton Memorial (RIPEM) held a ride on Sunday for Justin Martin, the 33-year-old man killed in a single-vehicle motorcycle crash June 22.

It was emotional as the riders went from city hall to the crash site at Scona Road.

READ MORE: Man, 33, killed in motorcycle crash on Scona Road

Family and friends also attended the event and travelled from Ontario to honour Martin, including longtime friend Cory Desmarais.

“I always wanted to see Alberta. I didn’t want to see it this way,” Desmarais said to the crowd.

The ride was especially emotional for him as he used one of Martin’s old bikes to get to the site.

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“It feels nice to be able to ride the bike that he rode and see the things that he saw and just get a taste of what his life was like, the part of his life I didn’t know,” Desmarais said. “It was hard.”

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This is the fourth time this year RIPEM has had to hold a ride like this. Organizers hope that other drivers and riders see the large crowd of motorcycles and take note.

“It’s getting really hard to deal with the abnormal number of fatalities in Edmonton. There [are] now six motorcycle fatalities in the entire province — four of them are in Edmonton. That’s an unusually and disproportionate number for just one city,” RIPEM’s John Taylor said.

READ MORE: Edmonton motorcycle advocates urge motorists to ‘share the road’ after fatal crashes

“I think it’s the road conditions, driving conditions, other motorists, some of it’s got to be on the riders themselves,” Taylor said. “It’s just the combination of a lot of things that are causing problems for the motorcycle community.”

Details remain thin on what caused the crash that took Martin’s life, but police said speed was a factor.

READ MORE: North Edmonton hit and run sends teen to hospital with serious injuries

The hope is that memorial rides like these won’t need to happen so often in the city.

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As for Martin’s family and friends, they will remember him not only as someone who loved to ride but also as a loyal person.

“Justin was the type of person that if you had a problem, he would do everything that he could to help you out,” Desmarais said.

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