SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A group of motorcyclists went for a ride Saturday to remember a member of their club, who was killed along with his friend when they were hit by an alleged drunk driver.
23-year-old Kyle Chapedelaine and 22-year-old Julisa Diaz were killed while riding a motorcycle Thursday night in Springfield by an alleged drunk driver.
Jack Bouchard, Knights on Bikes, Vice President said, “He’s the youngest brother knight we have, and we lost him at such an early age.”
Chapedelaine had just joined the motorcycle club Knights on Bikes a couple months ago. The Springfield Diocese group rides to benefit charities.
Jack Bouchard, told 22News, “I was introduced to him and I signed him up. His girlfriend, Julisa, they were both very excited that he was going to join Knights on Bikes and I signed him up and gave him our patch and he made our first ride two weeks ago to the Barre Cross, where we are returning to Saturday.”
About 40 Knights on Bikes took the memorial ride to Barre Cross to honor Chapedelaine and Diaz. To recognize that at a young age he wanted to help people and be part of this organization. This ride gives us the opportunity to remember him, to pray for him, to pray for all those who need our help.
Father Darcy said the prayers extend to everyone involved. “Friends say Kyle Chapedelaine and Julisa Diaz met here at Chicopee Comprehensive High School and had been friends ever since. Chapedelaine studied electrical engineering and was known to love his motorcycle. Diaz was known as a hard worker cutting hair in the salons growing up and was about to graduate from Springfield College with a degree in rehabilitation and disability studies on Sunday.”
Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney said 24-year-old Steven Thompson was drunk when his pickup truck turned in front of Chapedelaine’s motorcycle on Parker Street. Police say the bike was dragged underneath Thompson’s truck for a distance before he stopped. He was arrested for drunk driving.
Now facing vehicular homicide charges, Sgt. Delaney said Thompson’s had been arrested before for OUI.
Gary Wynn, Knights on Bikes, of Feeding Hills told 22News, “There are drunk drivers who could care less and are careless and pull in front of a motorcyclist and cause such a tragedy like this it’s just a shame.”
Thompson’s bail was set at $2500
Vito Surdo, of Knights on Bikes said, “I think that’s absolutely absurd, he should be held without bail. I also believe the drunk driving laws in Massachusetts are very, very lenient.”
Thompson is expected to return to court on July 13th.