By Joseph Zapata
Family and friends mourning the loss of the 27-year-old motorcyclist killed in a crash on Friday are hoping an online fundraiser will help defray the costs of giving him a proper memorial service.
Brett Rainey, of Huntington Station, was riding a 2000 Yamaha motorcycle northbound on Walt Whitman Road when he struck a 2002 Chrysler Town and Country minivan around 5:30 p.m., Suffolk police said. The minivan, being driven by Lucas McAfee, 18, was making a left-hand turn into a parking lot when Rainey crashed into its front passenger side, police said.
Rainey was taken to Huntington Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. McAfee had three passengers with him during the accident, but no injuries were reported, according to police. Both vehicles were impounded for safety checks.
“[Brett was] fun-loving and excited about everything in life, but he was also chill and laid back,” said Lisa Karrer, Rainey’s sister. “He was everyone’s best friend. Once you met him, you were family.”
Rainey was a mechanic, and in his spare time he loved to ride his motorcycle and dirt bike, his sister said. He was also known to be quite the handyman, helping out around the house whenever he could.
Since Rainey’s death, Karrer has started a fundraising page on the GoFundMe website to help raise money to pay for memorial service costs. The target goal is set at $7,500, and so far, slightly over $6,000 had been raised as of Wedensday. Whatever money is leftover after paying for Rainey’s memorial service will go to his 8-year-old daughter, Karrer said. The page can be found at www.gofundme.com/upzx5nw.
A funeral service will be held in Berlin, N.J., where Rainey and his family are originally from, but there will also be a small memorial at the family’s house, located at 39 Dawson St., in Huntington Station, on May 30 starting at 1 p.m. The family said the memorial is open to the public.