MAYFIELD, KY — You probably see it all the time — grass clippings from when people mow their yards getting in the road. For cars, that’s not an issue, but for someone on a motorcycle, it’s just as dangerous as ice.
“We were doing a benefit for autism, and we were all celebrating the fact that there was a really good turnout for this ride,” said Justin Norsworthy, who saw Lee that morning. “Once we got the news, it went from a happy moment to a very solemn moment.”
“Aaron wasn’t going home to his family. He wasn’t going home to his daughter,” Norsworthy said.
Northsworthy said it’s risky every time you get on a bike.
“You’ve got to be constantly aware of what your surroundings are while you’re riding,” Norsworthy said.
Lee’s friends say his death could’ve been prevented. Witnesses said grass clippings were left on the road where the crash happened.
“It’s like a car hitting ice,” Norsworthy said. “The contact pattern on a motorcycle’s tire whenever it’s running down the road, when it straight up you know, is 2 inches.”
“The guy on the bike loses the fight every time,” Norsworthy said.
The Rider’s Edge courses offered by many Harley Davidson dealerships teach motorcyclists what they need to know to avoid obstacles on the road. Trent Willett with Four Rivers Harley Davidson said it doesn’t matter what you ride or how long you’ve been riding. He said the three most important ways to reduce risk are to know the roads you’re traveling on, scan your mirrors to look behind you as well as ahead, and obey traffic laws.
“It happens real fast, and sometimes it can be really tragic,” Willett said. “All obstacles are different.”
Willett and Norsworthy say they want part of Lee’s legacy to be about change.
“I know it takes time to stop and clean up a mess, but sometimes that’s what it takes,” Norsworthy said.
Taking that time could save someone’s life.
Leaving your grass clippings on the road is illegal in some states. It’s not against state law in our four Local 6 states: Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee.
The city of Fulton has an ordinance that says you could be fined up to $150 if you’re caught leaving clippings in the road.
A friend of Lee’s started a petition asking state lawmakers to make it illegal to leave grass clippings on the road in Kentucky. Click here to view the petition.