Friends of a motorcyclist who police say was killed by a drunk driver are speaking out.
There’s plenty of damage on the motorcycle that police say was hit head on by a drunk driver March 29th.
The rider of the motorcycle, Mike Harden, was on his way back from doing a charity ride to raise money for a child who died of cancer. He died on Tuesday.
Harden went doing the two things he loved most – riding his bike and helping others.
“Mike smiled. When Mike was around he’d joke around. He always smiled. He was always there. He was a helper,” friend Bob Coffey says. “He wanted to participate in everything and you knew when he was around because he had a glow about him”
Coffey has been friends with Harden for more than 25-years. Tuesday night, he said goodbye to Harden for the last time. He can’t stop crying.
“I’ve had my glasses on all day. I had to go talk to customers and it was hard. It’s still hard. He was a close good friend. I saw him every day last week and I saw him 15 minutes before it happened.”
Jacob Phipps of Des Moines is charged with vehicular homicide. Witnesses say the 21-year-old was speeding along East 30th Street near Dean when he lost control of his car slamming into Harden’s bike.
Police say Phipps was drunk and had an open bottle of vodka in the car with him. Harden’s friends say this was no accident.
“This was a drunk driver so this wasn’t somebody being careless. This was somebody that intentionally decided to drive under the influence and took a man’s life,” friend Jon Richeson says.
“The community lost a hell of a man,” Richeson adds. “Great guy.”
Dozens of motorcyclists plan to honor Harden Thursday night by riding to the spot where he was killed.