Manchester motorcyclist, 24, dies in Bedford crashBy KEVIN LANDRIGAN
New Hampshire Union Leader
July 21. 2018 11:13AM
BEDFORD — Family and friends were sharing fond memories of the 24-year-old Manchester man who tragically died in a Bedford motorcycle crash late Thursday night.
Erik Duarte had just gotten back his 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle with a new clutch and was heading home just after 11 p.m. on New Boston Road in Bedford near the intersection of Route 114, friends and family reported.
Danielle Roller of Manchester considered Duarte her adoptive brother; Duarte had treated Danielle and her two siblings as his own for years.
“He was going a bit fast towards that intersection and hadn’t seen the curb and tried to downshift so as to not lose control. The police told us he hit the eastbound side guardrail very hard, the bike was totaled and he suffered severe internal injuries,” Roller said.
“They did all they could at the hospital to try to revive him but he never regained consciousness so we are hopeful that he didn’t suffer.”
Duarte worked as a windshield technician for Car Glass of New England. He had grown up in Raymond and moved to Manchester last year.
“He would drop anything to help someone out,” Danielle Roller recalled.
“He would give the last dollar he had in his wallet to someone he had just met. You didn’t have to know Erik long to have a warm relationship with him.
“He treated everyone with respect.”
He considered Mike and Mary Roller, Danielle Roller’s parents, like family.
Duarte’s biological parents, Wally and Michelle Duarte, live in Rochester and a biological brother, Jeffrey Duarte, lives in that city as well.
Tributes poured in on social media Friday.
“I love you brother,” wrote Douglas Brunner of Raymond. “I’m sorry it had to be you and be this way. I told you to ride safe and ALWAYS put ur helmet on. I’ll see you soon brother; forever rest in peace.”
Jonathan Witkowski of Nashua consoled a good friend on Facebook who said he had seen Duarte hours earlier.
“Sorry for your loss Kali Burns and his family RIP brother...he will always be looking down on you and smiling and will be riding with you forever,” Witkowski wrote.
Lacey Bruno posted she knew Duarte for many years and traced how his passions went from dirt bike to motorcycle riding.
“I’ll always remember you as Erik the kid who shredded on his BMX who grew into Erik the kid who loved his Harley. I will never be able to thank you enough for everything that you’ve always done. Whenever I needed something or someone you came right through,” Bruno wrote.
“Thank you for helping me with my bike and for the memories. I’ll never forget the last ride we took together, when I took off out of nowhere and you had a smile on your face. I don’t understand how and why it is always the good ones who are taken too early. You will forever be missed and loved.”
Dan Fortin of Manchester was one of many who remarked that this was the site of many past accidents.
“I think it’s a dangerous intersection for many reasons. While sitting there trying to take a turn, cars are going around you, driving much too fast. And while it has nothing to do with the current accident, people run that red light continuously,” Fortin posted.
Following the incident, New Boston Road remained closed between Route 114 and Holbrook Road for approximately 5½ hours, but was reopened early Friday morning.
The crash remains under active investigation by the Bedford Police Technical Accident Reconstruction Team.
Any witnesses are encouraged to contact the Bedford Police Department at 472-5113.
“He had matured into such an impressive young man and was doing us all proud,” Danielle Roller added.