Friday, June 10, 2011


Christine Cullen - Staff Writer
A Worcester County family grieving the loss of a brother, son, cousin and nephew in a tragic motorcycle accident last week had to relive that pain when an item went missing from a memorial they erected in his memory.

Brandon Matthew Richardson of Bishopville died last Friday after his motorcycle crashed into a guardrail on the Route 90 bridge. He was 20 years old.

Richardson was a graduate of Stephen Decatur High School, and a private first class in the Army National Guard. His family said he loved to ride his motorcycle and often wore his older brother Brett’s helmet when he rode.

According to the Maryland State Police, Richardson was riding his 2003 Kawasaki ZX- 6 motorcycle east on Route 90 around 2:30 p.m. when he lost control and crashed into the guardrail in the median of the highway near the intersection with St. Martins Neck Road. He died of his injuries at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin.

Richardson was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, and alcohol was not a factor in the accident, police said. Police closed Route 90 to all traffic in both directions between Route 589 and Ocean City for three hours, causing long backups of traffic heading to the beach for the weekend.

Richardson’s family erected a memorial on the side of Route 90 at the site of the accident over the weekend. The memorial included a cross, Richardson’s National Guard fatigue jacket, an American flag and his brother Brett’s special helmet, a black KBC Tarmac with a white tribal design and red pin stripes.

His uncle, Mike Richardson, said the family has kept close watch on the site since the memorial was built. They noticed the helmet was missing from the memorial around 6:30 p.m. on Monday. He said the family is upset that someone would steal an item that was clearly there to remember someone who died.

“It was his brother Brett’s helmet and it meant a lot to him. Brandon wore the helmet often when he rode motorcycles. We only want the helmet returned, no questions asked. It means a lot to our family,” he said.

Mike Richardson hoped the person who took the helmet did not realize its sentimental value and will return it to the site. He said it could also be turned in to the Ocean City Police Department, where he is an officer, no questions asked. Anyone with information about the helmet can also contact the OCPD at 410-723-6610.

“It’s heartbreaking to have this happen so soon after the accident. We’re hopeful whoever took it will have the heart to return it,” Mike Richardson said.

As news of the missing helmet spread through the community, businesses have stepped up to help. Loaded Gun Customs in Selbyville, Del., a company that customizes cars and motorcycles, offered a brand-new helmet for the memorial, and Oasis Bar and Grill in Whaleyville has offered a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the discovery of the missing helmet.

The Maryland State Highway Administration removed the remainder of the memorial Thursday morning amid concerns it was too close to the roadway. The family plans to relocate the memorial to another location.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is terrible. Growing up 40+ years ago, we saw a bike in the woods-a nice bike. I ran home and told my parents and asked if it were still there in the morning could I bring it home? Father's answer was a few questions-"Is it in our woods?" and "is it your bike?". I got the message loud and clear, if it's not mine don't touch it and do not trespass on someone else's property.
It's very nice that Bob R. from The Oasis has put up a reward.