Ride in Peace: Lifelong mechanic John Ward

Publish Date: 
Jul 15, 2013

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A longtime dealership mechanic may have had medical problems before he slammed into a car while riding a 1962 Triumph from his vintage collection.

Authorities say John Wesley Ward, 81, was killed instantly in the July 10 accident. He slammed into the back of a PT Cruiser that was at the back of a line of stopped traffic, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Widow Audrey Ward, 79, and her niece Marjie Treaster believe Ward may have suffered a stroke or his antique motorcycle may have malfunctioned. An autopsy will be performed.

An accident report says Ward was riding his bike at about 70 mph — 20 miles more than the posted speed limit — and made no attempt to brake as he sped toward the vehicle. Police said he never changed lanes.

"My uncle was not the kind of person who would just hot dog it on a motorcycle," Treaster told the newspaper. "He didn't even act that way when he was young. It may have been a medical issue or the bike may have malfunctioned."

Joe Robison, owner of Robison's Motorcycles Sales and Service in Daytona Beach, worked with Ward for 50 years in his shop. Robison said Ward was an excellent mechanic who built and fixed racing bikes for the business.

"I'm sort of dumbfounded," Robison said. "He worked here for 50 years."

Posted by Holly Wagner