Friends mourn motorcyclist killed in Friday crash
By Tyler Stocks
The Daily Reflector
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
He was a Marine who loved his country. A father who loved his family, especially his girls.
He would ride his motorcycle everywhere and would share his love and knowledge of riding with everyone he met.
These are a few of the memories friends shared about Orlando “Londo” Perez on Tuesday afternoon.
Perez died Friday night in a motorcycle crash on Pactolus highway when a truck pulled out in front of him. He had just left work and was on his way home.
“He was a good dude, said Luke Woolard, a close friend.
Woolard knew Perez for six years.
“We always cracked jokes,” Woolard said. “Londo was a real family guy. Very laid back, always happy, always in a good mood. He was ready to make you happy and make you safe.”
Perez celebrated 10 years of working at Ron Ayers Motorsports in February, according to his boss Jimmy Stallings. He worked in the parts and accessories department.
“Londo was unique and he was a great employee. He was here early and stayed late,” Stallings said.
On Saturday morning, employees at Ron Ayers gathered for a time of prayer to remember Perez and his family, Stallings said.
About a month ago, Perez had his bike blessed at an event hosted by a group of Christian motorcycle riders.
“He was always very thankful for anything people did for him. He's deeply missed and it still hurts,” Stallings said.
What Stallings remembers most about Perez was his compassion for others and his love of family.
“Londo always cared for others and for his family,” Stallings said.
Mike Furimsky, another close friend said Perez had tremendous patience and was slow to anger.
“He's a former Marine and former drill instructor, so you'd think he's some big, tough guy, but he had patience of a saint,” Furimsky said. “You ask yourself why it has to happen to someone like him. It makes you think a lot about higher powers, really makes you think that things happen for a reason. I don't feel like I've grasped that I'm never going to see him again.”
Furimsky and Woolard found out about Perez's death Friday night after they arrived at a bike ride in Rocky Mount.
“We literally had just gotten off our bikes when we found out what had happened,” Furimsky said. “When I went over to Ron Ayers to pick up parts Friday morning, Londo joked with me, ' Hey it's my best buddy,' and that made me feel really good. Friday was kind of crushing on my end.”
Furimsky said he hopes Perez's death leads people to recognize the need to be alert and watchful for traffic around them — especially motorcycles.
“I feel like there needs to be more awareness. I wish law enforcement would get more involved with cracking down on distracted driving,” Furimsky said. “A lot of people say, 'Well, he didn't see him.' That's not an excuse.” We all share the road.”
Being a safe and responsible motorcyclist was paramount to Perez, his friends said.
“Most of our employees who ride understand the importance of wearing the right stuff,” Stallings said. “Londo did that every time he rode. He had boots on, he had a full face helmet on, a jacket, he had his gloves. It's unfortunate that in his situation, it didn't help.
“I see too many customers ride around in shorts and flip flops and no gloves,” he said. “Londo understood the risks and he always wore the right equipment. The guy did everything right.”
Now members of the motorcycle community are left to mourn a friend who died doing what he loved most.
“This has kind of messed us up. This is a bad loss for our community here,” Furimsky said.
Contact Tyler Stocks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-329-9566. Follow him on Twitter @TylerstocksGDR
Carolina V-Twin, located at 1924 N. Memorial Drive, will host a cookout and bike night on June 21 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to raise money for Perez's three girls. To make a donation, or for more information, call Carolina V-Twin at 347-0365.