FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A Fayetteville man was killed on his motorcycle last weekend while he was honoring another biker who died in a crash.
Tom Parent was riding his motorcycle in Fayetteville last month when an SUV crashed into a car that, in turn, hit Parent. He and two other people died in the accident.
Jeff Barfield was honoring the memory of Parent in a charity ride when his own bike ran off Johnson Mill Road northeast of Raeford and into a ditch. The Fort Bragg federal police lieutenant, who was also a retired Hope Mills police sergeant and former Army sergeant first class, was killed.
Witnesses said it appeared Barfield hit a patch of gravel. American flags now mark the ground where Barfield -- nicknamed “Tinker” by his brother, Roger Jackson -- died at 58.
Two hundred bikers were honoring Parent and raising money for the Warrior Foundation, which provides scholarships to children of deceased soldiers.
Jackson said Barfield was a community hero, and his ride to honor Parent was par for the course.
"If something happened in Fayetteville, or something happened to a child, he was 100 percent,” he said. "His heart went out to helping others.”
Friend Willie Jack Poteat rode alongside Barfield during his fatal trip. While Poteat said he likes his Suzuki Intruder just fine, his buddy Tinker was a Harley-Davidson aficionado who loved to work on machines.
“He was always tinkering on things,” Poteat said.
The tears came easily for Poteat on Tuesday as he remembered his friend.
"All the good things he's done for people,” Poteat said. “And he's touched lives, including myself."
A memorial service for Jeff Barfield is set for 2 p.m. Thursday at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home in Fayetteville.
In 2005, 152 motorcyclists were killed in crashes in North Carolina. Nationwide, more than 4,500 bikers were killed. That number was up 13 percent from 2004, and up 51 percent from 1995. However, there are about 33 percent more motorcyclists on the road now compared with 10 years ago.