ODESSA, TX (KWES) -
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month and one local motorcycle group, the Black Saints, is letting others know the importance of life and death when drivers take the wheel. For them, it wasn't easy.
Junior Yanez was a member of the club before passing away two years ago in a tragic motorcycle accident. After a semi turned from a parking lot to get on the highway, Yanez was killed at the scene.
"First time I rode was with Junior," said Black Saints Odessa Chapter President Saul "Wrench" Garcia. "When he walked in the room, he was... man, we were just already laughing because that's just him. He was one of the greatest people I've ever met. He started everything. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be here. He hasn't faded away at all."
After his death, Yanez left behind his son that members of the club still keep in touch with.
"He means the world to us," said Garcia. "We watch over him like he's our own kid. The hardest part is when we get on our bikes, we leave our family at home. You got to realize that we get up and ride, but we have a family to go back home to."
One rider is fortunately able to come home to his family after being in his second motorcycle accident. Johnny Silvas was headed home after visiting Junior's grave last month, when things took a turn on the ride home.
"Everything happened so fast," said Silvas. "We went to Junior's grave to decorate for Easter. Unfortunately, I got hit by someone who wasn't paying attention. I thought I was going to literally die and lose my leg. And that was actually Junior's bike, it hurts to see it like that because the bike has a lot of sentimental value."
And that's why the club, after losing a member and close to losing another, they never stop advocating for motorcycle safety.
"Your heart just drops," said Garcia. "You always think the worst but thank God he's walking and he's here with us. A life you can't replace."
That you should look twice, share the road, because that could bring a rider home to his family.
"I've been out of work since the accident and I'm the only one providing for my kids," said Silvas. "They don't want me to ride no more. They don't want me back on a motorcycle."
Silvas said wearing his helmet and gear is what saved his life. He's had two surgeries and the club is helping out his family during his recovery, if you'd like to help, you can click here.