PLAINFIELD – Friends of a Minooka man killed in a motorcycle crash four years ago have organized a ride to honor his life and criticize what they deem a lenient sentence for the driver responsible.
“Justice For Ron Oswald” will begin at 10:30 a.m. July 17 when riders meet at Double J Sports Bar, 1001 Essington Road in Joliet.
On July 14, 2012, Oswald was riding his Harley-Davidson near County Line Road and Route 126 in Plainfield when the driver of a Dodge Durango slammed into a Nissan Altima and pushed it into Oswald’s path. Oswald was killed and the family of four in the Altima was injured.
The driver of the Durango, Andrew W. Henderson, 28, of Palos Park, was under the influence of heroin and Vicodin.
But Henderson’s work speaking to groups about the effect of heroin use caused the judge to reconsider his sentence last month so he will remain on probation for two years instead. Henderson spent two years in jail before undergoing drug treatment.
“This whole case is dirty,” said Oswald’s friend, Barbara Fitzpatrick. “He killed somebody and gets two years and a slap on the wrist. We want to bring awareness to what happened [and] get these judges to stop this [giving of] light sentences.”
Oswald was an active member of Will County ABATE, which stands for A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education, an organization that promotes motorcycle safety and legislation to protect riders. He was on his way to meet Fitzpatrick and other riders to escort a soldier being deployed when he was killed.
Riders will leave Double J’s at 11:30 a.m. to pass the cemetery where Oswald is buried and then the crash site.
“We’re going to complete his final ride,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re expecting 200 riders.”
The procession will end at Tap House, 24402 Lockport St., Plainfield, where the event will finish with “prayers and anybody who wants to get up and talk about Ron can,” Fitzpatrick said.
For information, call Fitzpatrick at 815-919-7870.