Family, witnesses reflect on deadly motorcycle accident

By: Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Family members are speaking out about the loss of a loved one following an early morning crash in Richmond.

Police say 27-year-old Thomas Johnson was riding the motorcycle when it crashed at the intersection of 25th and M streets in Church Hill.

The crash happened around 12:30 Saturday morning just a few blocks from Johnson's home.

Family members are understandably in pain.

They say Johnson was a loving father to six children.

"He was the sweetest thing," said Johnson's cousin Sierra Johnson. "He never disrespected nobody, said anything bad to no one. He was always there for you when you needed him. If you needed money he was there. If you needed anything he was there. I don't understand why he left me."

Richmond police have not said what led to that crash in the city's East End.

Eyewitnesses say they hear motorcycles race up and down 25th Street frequently, but they can't remember anything quite like this morning.

Erica Sayre Moll says she could hear Thomas Johnson's motorcycle before the crash.

"I could hear him coming like three blocks down," she said. "He was getting faster, because motorcycles down shift so he was picking up speed."

She says the bike hit this roundabout at the intersection of 25th and M.

"It sounded like he went airborne from it because you heard the sound and then you didn't hear anything and I was thinking, he's in the air. And then he comes down and you can hear bouncing and he got separated from the bike and his body went one way and his bike continued to go down the street," said Sayre Moll.

Several witnesses, like Snoop Williams who was standing on the sidewalk of 25th Street at the time, tell similar accounts of what happened next.

"He was going fast," he said. "They had the sirens on."

"About three or four seconds after he crashed you saw the lights from the police cars coming down the street," said Sayre Moll. "I heard the bike coming first and he had quite a lead on the squad cars he was being chased but I don't know why."

Richmond Police, however, will not confirm if those officers were pursuing 27-year-old Thomas Johnson.

They would only say the scene is extensive and as a result, it may take some time for the crash team to complete its investigation.

Crews worked well into the daylight hours cleaning up the scene.

While little evidence of the grisly incident remains, it's something Sayre Moll won't soon forget.

"This is what people talk about when they say that's too much excitement in that neighborhood," she said.

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