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Son grieves for dad killed in crash and the motorcycle stolen day before death

Union Leader Correspondent

July 18. 2018 10:01PM
Brett Lima is hoping his late father's Harley-Davidson motorcycle is returned. (Courtesy)

Michael Lima was killed in a crash in Belmont of the Fourth of July. (Courtesy)

CANTERBURY — Losing his dad in a car crash on the Fourth of July was devastating for 18-year-old Brett Lima, but he said the theft of his father’s prized motorcycle has made the loss even more painful.

“I don’t know how anybody would be able to live with themselves knowing that they took something that meant so much to my father,” the Canterbury teen said Wednesday.

Lima’s father, Michael Lima, 47, of Meredith, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Brian Bennett, 37, of Tilton, when police said it veered into the southbound lane of Route 106 in Belmont. The vehicle struck another car before colliding head-on with a truck.

Bennett, Lima, and his black Labrador retriever, Clutch, died from their injuries in the crash.

Brett Lima said his father loved his 2001 blue Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle and he knows that he would have wanted him to have it after his death.

It’s the same motorcycle he was riding in 2002 when Brett said his father was struck in a hit-and-run and left for dead. Lima survived the crash and underwent reconstructive surgery.

“At the time the bike was most likely totalled, but that didn’t stop him. He rebuilt it from the ground up,” Brett said.

He said he believes the bike was stolen from property on Durrell Mountain Road in Belmont.

Brett Lima will soon head off for Army basic training; he said he hopes the person who took the bike will return it before then.

“There will be no questions asked if they can do the right thing,” he said. “Obviously everybody grieves differently. It’s pretty upsetting that throughout my father’s death I haven’t even been able to grieve. I know that once I get the bike back I’ll be able to start the grieving process.”

No matter what obstacle his father faced in life, Lima said his father always kept the bike.

“The bike never left his side. He did what he could to keep that bike through the hardest of times. All he ever did was focus on that bike,” he said.

His mother, Katie, said she’s trying to remain hopeful that the bike will be found.

“I know his father would have wanted him to have that bike,” she said.

General News Belmont Meredith Canterbury

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