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Motorcyclist killed in head-on crash in Gig Harbor

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Aug. 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm with 38 Comments »
August 6, 2012 12:57 pm

A 23-year-old motorcyclist was killed Sunday in a head-on collision in Gig Harbor.

Parker F. Raft was driving on Sehmel Drive NW at 3:30 p.m. when he drifted into oncoming traffic and hit the front of a Ford pickup truck, said Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer.

Raft was thrown from his bike. He was taken to Madigan Army Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Speed is believed to have caused the crash.

Raft was driving on a suspended license and had a warrant for his arrest on suspicion of reckless driving, Troyer said.

The occupants of the pickup truck were not injured.

Leave a comment Comments → 38
  1. BigSwingingRichard says:

    I’d say the suspicion of reckless driving has now been confirmed.

  2. Excuse me Richard. Please be courteous of those who may know Parker personally.
    Everyone makes mistakes. Although a paper trail may tell one story, the true character of this young man could not be further from what this bleak post depicts.

    Parker was a young, intelligent, witty and very kind hearted man. He had a youthful charm and demeanor that was loved by everyone around him.

    He will be greatly missed and our prayers go out to his family and friends.

  3. tphillips78 says:

    I agree there are people reading this story that knew him and will miss him. His family may read this and already have void in their lives because of this tragedy. The last thing they need is people like you saying off beat judgement filled comments. ( have you never made a mistake in life?)
    Parker sometimes I wanted to stomp on your radio when I heard you call out long calls lol but you were a good guy and I really enjoyed working with ya. God speed bud. My heartfelt condolences and prayers to all his friends and family.

  4. Parker was an awesome individual. The insensitivity is enough to make me fly off the handle, so to speak. It would be difficult to make a more difficult representation of parker and his personality. This article is evidently biased and does not do parker justice. He was a fantastic person, and I wish there was more that could be done to express my dissatisfaction with his portrayal in this article. I’ll always be glad i was fortunate enough to know parker, and anytime i clean the bell on my bars i’ll be remembering him.

  5. Just how is the article ‘biased’? There appear to be no subjective or opinion-based items, only factual ones pertaining to the event and the people involved. Mentioning someone’s age and relevant public records information and reporting the belief of police officials as to a cause of the collision is factual reporting. The facts may not be flattering, but that does not make them biased or any less true.

  6. It does make them biased. If you get informed what a “wreckless” and irresponsible individual someone is, even based on relevant public records, but nothing “factual” about the other involved party, then the reader is subjected only to the information about the targetted party. All we know about the driver of the truck is that they drove a truck and were unharmed. I’m sure were the two individuals placed in opposing situations, we’d be given a great deal of knowledge on how irresponsible this as-of-yet unknown truck driver (now the assumed motorcyclist) was, and parker would be an anonymous driver that we’d just be glad to hear wasn’t also injured. It’s biased because when you’re given information on one side of things, the reader is forced to make a decision of opinion based on the small information he’s been given. That’s a form of bias.

  7. shannondkeith says:

    For the love of God, people, show some respect. Parker’s family and friends (including myself) are grieving right now. Yes, the article supplies the cold hard facts of his death, but there is no need for people who never knew him to post flippant comments and judgments on his life based on a six-sentence news story. If you don’t have something nice (or at least not inconsiderate) to say, just be quiet, for pete’s sake.

  8. ateerman says:

    Corey, thank you. Parker was my cousin,and while growing up there were always many miles between our families, one thing away was, and will be a constant. The fact that nothing I’d more precious than family. My greatest memory of my cousin is that when he smiled, you could see straight to his heart.

    We all have made choices that were probably not the wisest. Those minor mistakes are not what define us. Our daily actions in the way we treat others, and our contributions to society along with our passion for life are the type of things on which

  9. ateerman says:

    …we should be judged. Bottom line, a wonderful life was lost yesterday, and there are people feeling a pain that nobody should ever have to feel.

    Until we meet aagain, Sweet Parker <3

  10. annonforthis says:

    I have known Parker since he lived in the SnoValley. He appears to be the only one who suffered from this….and his family. I hope to God his family doesn’t see what some of you have said. They are good people and they are suffering enough!

  11. sincere says:

    Not having any facts to go on, I do feel the riders in the pickup were lucky to escape any serious injury.I feel also this was a waste of a young mans life and his friends and relatives are paying the heavy price of not having his presence anymore.I am not saying this was the case,but in my travels I have observed the operators of some (Crotch Rockets) Darting in and out of traffic like there was no tomorrow.These riders sometimes seem to forget they don’t have a steel cage around them for protection, in case they are in an accident.

  12. All opinions on the story aside, anyone in the area interested there is supposed to be a fundraising car wash for parker and family at the autozone in bremerton on hwy 3 sitting opposite of fred meyer. Support would be of great value.

  13. ABCComment says:

    There are many hearts and lives that Parker has touched growing up. The sparkle in his eye and quick humorous wit, along with his sweet compassion are known by many who loved him. He was playing on a church softball team, and was heading home to his dear family when this tragic accident occurred. While I understand people reading this brief article may draw some insensitive conclusions, I would hope that you would keep your personal opinions about someone you’ve never met to yourself, with compassionate thoughts going out to his grieving friends and family. There is a sister who will never see her big brother again, parents who have just lost their beautiful son, friends and aunts and uncles who will never again see Parker’s smile or hear his infectious laugh…there are thousands of individuals whose life has been permanently altered forever because of this tragedy. Please know that when he lost his life due to an ACCIDENT, he has left many heartbroken devastated family members and beloved grieving friends in his wake. So please, mister BigSwingingRichard, have some respect for the surviving friends and family who loved him so much, and I hope that this sort of tragedy will never fall upon your family or loved ones, and no stranger will feel the need to make an insensitive comment on a public forum for all to be hurt by.

  14. annonforthis says:

    I agree ABC. E will never see her brother again and his parents will never seen their son. It really doesnt matter at this point how it happened other than Parker will never be with us again and there are family members who will never see him. My heart aches for them!

  15. TGinBrem says:

    I got a chance to work with Parker and I can’t remember a single time that he didn’t have a smile on his face! He was funny and kind and just a great guy! Parker you will be missed!
    For those who read the article and their first reaction was to post something mean and hurtful, shame on you!
    My thoughts go out to the Paker family, your sadness is shared by many, I can only pray that all of the lives Parker touched brings you some comfort.

  16. ashleylpt21 says:

    My husband was one of the men in that hospital room when they wheeled him in and proceeded to try to save his life. This man no matter what the circumstances was somebody to someone and my husband and I send our condolences to his family and friends.

  17. BWestbrook says:

    God speed, Parker. RIP Brother.

  18. herycich says:

    I was unfortunate enough to be the 4th car to come upon the accident. There were 3 other motorist tending to him as the ambulance had yet to arrive. Once of the motorist had nursing scrubs on and she was providing cpr to Parker. I’m not sure if the medics were ever able to revive him as I left after they arrived. I’m not sure if this is maybe to much information for family and friends but I’m pretty sure he felt no pain and he probably didn’t even see it coming as it was on a hairpin turn. I hope that doesn’t offend anyone but I thought maybe you could find some comfort in the fact that he didn’t suffer. as for the motorist who stopped, even though they didn’t feel a pulse they still were talking to him kindly and telling him he was going to be okay and to hang in there. I hope you can find some comfort in that. As far as people stereotyping crotchrocket riders, It doesn’t matter if he was doing the speed limit or 110 and weaving in and out of traffic. Whatever the circumstances, this young man lost his life. period. the rest is irrelevant. and the circumstances, whatever they were, will make so difference to how deeply the family grieves. My condolences.

  19. Blharrison88 says:

    I am lucky to have ment such an amazing younge man! To those of you who feel you have some right to say something hurtful shame one you! A family and a community as lost an amazing man. Parkers warm smile and and whittty humor will be missed! Judge yourself before you judge someone else as the saying goes people in glasses houses shouldn’t throw stones! My condolences to Parker’s family and close friends! I will be there to support him and his family! Work will never be the same without you!

  20. MrCarleone says:

    “Raft was driving on a suspended license and had a warrant for his arrest on suspicion of reckless driving ”

    )))) !

  21. PunkyPinup says:

    Herycich, thank you. Your information brought me a lot of comfort knowing he didn’t suffer. He was too great a person. I’m going to miss him pulling branches out of our tree for bonfire wood, always joking, making work more bearable, talking about softball adventures… To his best friend and family, I’m so sorry. Some of us have placed flowers in his parking spot at work, there is a car wash Thurs and Fri 11-7 and a memorial fund being set up at Kitsap Credit Union by our employer to help his family with costs. Thank you for raising an amazing man.

  22. SteveWoods says:

    I know there will be trolls and overly opinionated individuals who read this story and just write Parker off, or use this story as a soapbox. I want you to know that Parker was my cousin and I love him and his family very much. I watched him grow from a boy to a man and the world is a worse place for the loss. He made everyone feel better with his energy and his smile. I also want you to understand he had lost a cousin just a few days prior to the accident. Our whole family is grieving over both losses. I ask you to please think of what you are about to write and how that is going to help the situation. Fond memories of a friend, coworker or family is wonderful and helps to honor his memory. No one is perfect, so keep the judgments to yourself please!

  23. herycich says:

    Your welcome PunkyPinup. I hope my short statement makes it to the family and gives them some sort of peace of mind, or as much as can be obtained from a situation such as this. I would also like to give all the people who are posting comments about the kind of person Parker must have been because he was driving on a suspended license and due to the warrant. When I walked up to the crash, I assumed (until I read the article) that it was only him involved in the crash because the only other vehicles that were coming down the hill were both parked on the side of the road because their drivers were tending to Parker. I didn’t realize that one of the vehicles must have been involved in the accident (most people leave their vehicle where it was hit). I personally don’t think that he was driving recklessly. When I was coming up behind the vehicle that was right behind the crash, I picked up a large steel hook that looked like it came from a tow strap off the ground. I think maybe he was swerving to avoid it (maybe he was going fast since that corner would be considered perfect for a fast hard turn on a bike)and didn’t realize there was a car coming down the hill cause he would’nt have been able to see it. I gave the hook to the lady who was in front of me and told her where I found it and that I thought maybe he had been trying to swerve to avoid it. So before you jump from point A (he had a suspended license and a warrant for reckless driving) to point C (therefore he must have been being reckless again) maybe you should take into consideration there might be a point B (something happened to cause him to lose control that had nothing to do with his driving carelessly). ok, i think I have rambled on enough. sorry :)

  24. tphillips78 says:

    I didnt know Parker outside of work but what I know of him while at work he was a fun filled hard working man. Times can get stressfull at that job but he would seem to always find a way for the stress to be bearable. If was like that at work I can only guess he was even more fun filled and caring outside of work to his family and friends.
    Loss of a loved one is the hardest thing we as humans have to endure. Try really try to remember to focus on the memories and laughs rather than the loss.
    Again my heartfelt condolences to Parkers family and thank you for sharing his humor and kindness with the rest of us. Ride the sky Parker you will be missed but not forgotten.

    ” God breaks our hearts to prove to us he only takes the best”

  25. ateerman says:

    Herycich, I have yet to speak with my aunt, and uncle (Parker’s parents), but this is the first I have head of any obstacle in the road. That’s a huge piece of information. Thank you so much for your kind, and fact based comments. If the rest of my family has not seen all your heartfelt words, I will make sure they do.

  26. herycich says:

    You are more than welcome. My thoughts are with you and your family

  27. Posted on behalf of my dear sister Kathleen.

    I just lost my lovely son in a tragic accident and it further breaks my heart to read the Tribune’s account. It is extremely insensitive and entirely pointless to print the reference to the suspended license and outstanding warrant. This reference serves no purpose but to hurt and anger those that knew and loved Parker. There are circumstances surrounding his situation that are not considered and it is beneath my dignity to elaborate. As you can see from the numerous posts from those who knew him, Parker was an exceptional young man.

    My heart is broken and you took this opportunity to pour salt in my wound. Shame on the Tribune for writing such a heartless and insensitive account of a tragic accident.


    Kathleen Raft

  28. happydaze says:

    Dont grieve for me for now I’m free…I’m followin the path that god had made for me… he made sure i didnt fall i took his hand when i heard him call….i tuened my back thats when i suddenly left it all… i could not stay not another day… to laugh to love to work or play….a task undone has gotta stay that way… but untill the day we will see eachother..ill be up in the sky restin in peace restin in paradise…

    i wrote this a few years back about another friend who has passed and just thought it might help… R.I.P Parker

  29. Parker, you were a fun loving, caring , and thoughtful person, you were loved by your coworkers, family, and friends, ive seen so many of us write up facebook notes about how much you will be missed, you were smile, the sun, the laugh, the shoulder for so many of us, we had a good last laugh before my days off a day before you passed away, we were just hanging out outside , typical day at work, during that typical day , we talked about work and things we wished we could change but we knew it would never work lol, hey its work right??… i will miss passing you in the halls, and having a good laugh with you, your time here was way too short… you are now our beautiful angel… i will forever miss you , my thoughts and prayers are out to the Raft family and all friends… RIP my sweet friend ,we know youll be watching over us <3

  30. First, my thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. Second, I live 10 feet from where this accident happened and it was a simple mistake. He wasn’t being a crazy wreck less driver. I saw this accident. That hill? It’s scary. I can barely check my mail without some asshole driving too fast, or someone tailgating me before I pull into my drive way. This accident was a matter of a few inches that resulted in a poor young mans life. All you people who quickly assume you know what happened are probably the same dip sh!ts who fly down this hill. Don’t be so quick to judge when most of us everyday are at risk of this same outcome. Rip dude, tragic:(

  31. jamiejean55 says:

    It kills me to read this article, you think you could have been a little more concerning about his friends and family instead of his warrant? He was a great friend and it kills me to lose him. My heart goes out to his family. I wish I could have said my goodbyes to him. You will truly be missed parker. Everytime I get on fb I cry it hurts you are gone. You were way to young to be taken from all of us. We will all remember that smile and your personality. Miss you parker RIP.

  32. My condolences to his family, best friend Steven and friends. He was such a nice person and he had that great, infectious smile. Such a tremendous loss. Parker was always an amazing friend to my daughter. My prayers are with you all and may you draw strength from each other, stories of him that bring laughter and the Lord at this time.


  33. Belatrix says:

    Very sad indeed. We lost a close friend in a second a few years ago. Wish they were both able to get a do over. He knew how many loved him. Take some heart in that. Family and friends. Get together, barbecue, tell story, and celebrate his life and how he touched you all. This young man was awesome in so many ways based on what I have read here. God Bless Him.

  34. TGinBrem says:

    To know Parker was to love him!
    I remember a conversation I had with him, it was about his Mom , and all I can remember was thinking to myself “wow I hope when my son grows up he loves me as much as this kid obviously loves his Mom”! I would walk down the hallway at work and see him sitting at his desk and I’d always have to say something to him because I KNEW he’d have me cracking up as I walked away. Parker made people happy, what a gift we should all be so lucky to have! Parker had more friends in his short time here than some people will make in a lifetime and he will not be forgotten !

  35. Cindylouvv says:

    My thought and prayers go out to Parkers family. Parker grew up with my twin daughters Ashley and Brittany. He was a great kid and will be missed by us all. This Saturday Ashley’s new coffee stand “REALITY COFFEE” will be holding a car wash with part of the proceeds going to Parkers family. It is in E. Bremerton in the parking lot of the driving range/paintball field located at 368 NE Waaga Way. It is from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Please come out and show your support and respect for a great cause.

  36. Cindylouvv says:

    Jimzz78…WOW!!!! Your comment was one of the rudest ever. I hope you are now done with your input. If not… Too bad, because we really don’t care to hear any more from you and your pea brain!!!

  37. happydaze says:

    Hey jimzz coming from the fact that you must have been raised by a baboon anyone with any civilized upbringing would know that what your trying to do is not okay…if you where half a man you would shut your mouth a stay the hell off this page…what you say…doesnt mean shit…but when you pass no one will post anything nice about you i bet…your a crappy individual so grow up get a life…and stop trying to bash on a very amazing person who made such an impact on many people…something you would know nothing about!

  38. TGinBrem says:

    What a horribly sad existence you must live Mr Jizz that you have nothing better to do with your time than be mean and hateful! I hope you’re proud of yourself Dbag! Yay you!

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