MANATEE COUNTY (WFLA) – Family, friends and members of the local biking community gathered for a candlelight vigil and ride Tuesday evening in memory of David Parham.
The 41-year-old is being remembered by his family as a family man. He leaves behind his 8-year-old son Jase, his teenage stepdaughter and his wife of almost two years. His brother Kenneth Parham tells 8 On Your Side he was selfless.
“He was a great guy, loved his boy, loved his family, [would] do anything for anybody,” said Kenneth Parham.
“Dave was outgoing, sweet, caring, kind, loving, loved everybody. He was a big teddy bear,” his cousin Heather Rhyne said.
Parham was killed Friday afternoon in a motorcycle crash. According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, a 71-year-old driver pulled out in front of Parham while he was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle with his 8-year-old son.
“It killed us. It crushed us. This is something you don’t want to happen in your family,” said Rhyne.
Parham’s 8-year-old son survived the crash, but is still recovering from serious injuries at the hospital.
“He had an MRI done yesterday. There were supposed to take his ventilator out, but we haven’t heard anything. He had a cracked pelvis,” Rhyne said. “He doesn’t even know his dad is gone, so it is going to be tough. The last thing he did is call out for his daddy.”
Family members have spent the last few days creating t-shirts, koozies and key chains in Parham’s honor and memory. Any money raised will go directly to the 41-year-old’s wife to help with unexpected costs and hospital bills. The family has also started an online fundraising campaign.
“It is hard, going from a wife with a loving husband and two children to being a widow with two children and trying to do it on your own,” said Parham’s cousin.
Troopers say the 71-year-old driver has not been cited as of Tuesday, but charges are forthcoming.
Parham’s family tearfully asked drivers to be cautious on the roadways.
“Watch out for bikes. Please, that is somebody’s child, that is somebody’s family, somebody’s father. There’s too many bike accidents, there are too many deaths on bikes, it is scary,” said Rhyne. “Just take that extra second. You could save a life.”