Two killed, five injured during memorial ride for fallen soldier
WESTMORELAND, NEW HAMPSHIRE — The father of a fallen soldier is offering his condolences to the families of those killed during a memorial ride for his son. A procession for Army Specialist Justin Rollins was taking place Saturday, August 25th when a car slammed into several motorcycles, killing two men and injuring five others.
Safety was paramount in the ride for Rollins. In fact, the two men killed and five injured were road guards — members of Rolling Thunder, meant to keep the others safe.
“These gentleman that were up in the front that got taken out were some of the most experienced riders that we have in our group and they do the most dangerous job like blocking traffic,” Skip Rollins said.
The accident weighs heavy on the heart of Rollins’ father, Skip Rollins.
41-year-old Aaron Robar was a father of two young girls and a beloved volunteer football coach.
59-year-old Gary Champney was one of Skip Rollins’ childhood friends.
“He graduated from Newport High School a year after I did. His wife graduated with my wife in Windsor, Vermont. So he was a very good friend of ours,” Skip Rollins said.
A car driven by 87-year-old Robert Lockerby crossed the center line on Route 12 in Westmoreland and headed straight into the riders. Rollins’ mother, Ronda witnessed it all.
“When she got out of the car she couldn’t even stand up. She just collapsed and people were holding her up and she took it very, very hard,” Ronda Rollins said.
Justin Rollins was killed in Iraq by a roadside bomb. Now, his parents are grieving again.
“Our hearts and our prayers go out to for the families that lost their loved ones lives yesterday. And we are still praying and our hearts go out to the families of those still in the hospital and hurting,” Skip Rollins said.