Vigil honors Gresham teen killed in motorcycle crash


GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) — Friends and relatives held a vigil Thursday night in Gresham for a 19-year-old man who died in a motorcycle crash. 

Henry Sweeney was riding his motorcycle on Wednesday when he crashed with an SUV at Burnside Road and Oregon Trail Center. 

Gresham police officers said the crash happened as the 81-year-old SUV driver was turning into a shopping center. 

Henry Sweeney, 19, was killed in a motorcycle crash in Gresham, June 12, 2019. (Courtesy to KOIN)

Sweeney graduated from Gresham High School in 2018. 

A former student said news of Sweeney’s death is particularly hard for others who attended the school because Sweeney is one of a handful of former students who have died in traffic accidents just this year. 

Sweeney’s coworkers at Firehouse Subs organized Thursday’s vigil. 

“All the lives that he touched is evident by all of you here tonight,” Sweeney’s grandpa told those in attendance. 

Friends told KOIN 6 News that Sweeney was fearless, always made the people around him feel included and had a way of lighting up a room. 

“He was always making sure you were okay before he was,” said Nick Steketee, one of Sweeney’s friends.

Others who knew Sweeney said they are encouraging everyone who has a motorcycle to ride safely and defensively on the roads. They added that Sweeney had only had his motorcycle for less than a year. 

Friends and family members gathered to remember Henry Sweeney, June 13, 2019. (KOIN)

“We can only be more cautious on the roads now and live on with Henry in our hearts forever, he will always be,” said Steketee. “He is not going anywhere in our hearts — he will always be around.” 

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