FORT MYERS, Fla. — A special memorial placement for a recently fallen veteran will be taking place this weekend.
Blaine ‘Gator’ Elmer passed away in a motorcycle accident Sunday, leaving behind more than a family.
“If he met you in the restaurant, he’d come up and say hello to everybody there. Before you left, you knew him- and that was just any situation he was in. He just stood out and you just knew he was all about business and he was just an all around good guy,” says Bill “Dirt” Moon with the Punishers Motorcycle Club.
On Sunday afternoon, Elmer was on his way to the hospital. The trip was to see his son, Nick, who experienced a heart attack. Little did Elmer know, it would be his last.
“He never knew that his son passed away and his son never knew that he passed away," said Moon. "They were a mile and a half from each other when they passed away and it was within three hours of each other.”
Elmer passed away after his motorcycle crashed into an SUV that had run a red light. It’s an accident that has left a hole not only among family, but friends as well.
“When this accident happened, we decided that we’ve got to do something to keep his memory alive and let people know the man that died that day at the accident,” says Keith Campbell with the PTSD Awareness Summit.
Elmer was part of the Punishers Motorcycle Club- a rag tag team of current and retired law enforcement, military and EMS personnel. It’s a passion of his that will be used to honor his memory.
“Blaine loved to ride so one of the ways of honoring him is that we’re going to have our bikers from all around the state of Florida, I’ve been hearing some people will be coming from other states as well. We’re all going to ride in his honor to Cape Coral where the site of the accident was. It’s where our board members are going to put a monument at the crash site in his honor," said Campbell.
And Saturday’s ride will be more than just that- but also to serve as a reminder of the man Elmer was.
“The community is going to be able to say goodbye to an unbelievable individual," says Moon. "I’ve seen all of the posts on the Sea-Craft site and all over Facebook. It’s just unbelievable all of the accolades this man has gotten from people and it’s just going to be really hard on a lot of us.”
“When people see it, we want them to know it wasn’t just a biker- he was a veteran; he was a law enforcement officer; he was a father; he was a community leader; he was a brother; a husband; and, most of all, a very good friend,” said Campbell.
Saturday’s memorial dedication ride will be gathering at the Ranch Concert Hall off Colonial Boulevard at 11 a.m. Those in charge also say flag bikes are encouraged for Saturday's event. Also this years Independent MC Key West Excursion Run benefiting the PTSD Awareness Summit on September 24-27 will be held in of honor Blaine and Nick.