PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Dozens of people gathered in Northeast Portland Saturday evening to remember a motorcyclist that was killed in a crash earlier this month.
Friends and family put together a touching tribute for Eugene Waldrupe. Family told KOIN 6 News that “Gene” loved his two daughters and his fiance, and he will be dearly missed.
“We love you, Dad, we miss you,” said Waldrupe’s daughter Chelsey at the vigil. She and her sister Samantha made shirts with a picture of Waldrupe from his most recent birthday.
“This was on his 50th birthday this year,” said Samantha. “I got him a special 50th birthday card and I literally saw him just three days before the accident.”
Family members said Waldrupe loved camping and the outdoors. He also loved to play darts. Alicia Stevens was Gene’s girlfriend and says they had planned to get married. She placed a dartboard that she made for him at the site of the crash.
“If he wasn’t working, he was playing darts,” said Stevens.
Unfortunately, questions still remain about the crash. The family said Waldrupe struck the side of a car on his motorcycle as the car crossed NE Sandy Boulevard. They feel that he should have had the right of way.
“If he’s riding on Sandy, one would think that he’d have the right of way—a car going across 65th,” said Stevens. “We are not trying to hold that family who hit him—we feel for them too. I can’t imagine what that would be like. We just don’t want him deemed something when he can’t speak for himself.”
The crash happened on Saturday, Jan 18, in the area of NE Sandy Boulevard and NE 65th Avenue. The 50-year-old Gresham man was still alive when authorities arrived at the scene. Waldrupe was taken to the hospital, however, despite life-saving efforts by medical staff, he later died.
The initial crash investigation cited witnesses who reported that speed may have been a factor, but the family said he was coming from a family member’s house only a few blocks away.
“He’s not going to be reckless and every put anyone else in danger—that wasn’t him,” said Stevens. “He loves his daughters more than anything in the world.”
A group of balloons was released at the vigil Saturday evening. Waldrupe’s family said his love will go on forever in their hearts, despite the tragedy that took him too soon.
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