THE VINDICATOR (PIXES AVAILABLE)
By PATRICIA MEADE
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN — Speed kills.
“I told him I hated the crotch rocket; I never liked that bike,” Wanda Earles said of her son’s 1998 Honda CVR 900 motorcycle.
“I knew it was dangerous, but when they turn 18, they’re an adult. He enjoyed it, but it cost him his life.”
Brent Earles, 20, of Queens Lane, Canfield, and Matthew Tynal, 19, of McCollum Road, died around 6 p.m. Sunday on Ohio Works Drive when their motorcycles collided at Sinter Court. The young men knew each other casually.
The impact at Sinter sent Earles airborne and into a tree about 110 feet away from the collision; Tynal and his bike landed near the intersection, and flames scorched a grassy area nearby, witnesses said.
Flowers were placed at the crash scene by family and friends.
Tynal, riding a 2006 Honda CVR 600, attempted to turn left at Sinter and was broadsided by Earles, who tried to go around a third cyclist, said Detective Sgt. Rob Deichman, an accident investigator. Both victims — riding their “crotch rockets” too fast — were wearing helmets, he said.
Witnesses estimated speeds of 90 mph on the desolate stretch of winding concrete road that draws bikers on Sundays, when the few industrial businesses on the West Side street in the Ohio Works Industrial Park are closed.
Deichman said officers have received numerous complaints the past month about racing on Ohio Works Drive, but usually the bikes are gone by the time officers arrive.
Kelly Bako, 24, and Matt Rohrbaugh, 22, two friends of Tynal, were at the scene of the double fatality Monday. Rohrbaugh and Bako, both of Austintown, said Tynal, whom they called “Tylenol,” was not drag racing. They said it was stunt riding, which is also illegal on city streets.
Rohrbaugh said police, receiving noise complaints from neighborhoods above Ohio Works Drive, have been cracking down on the bikers.
Bako laid red and yellow roses (she tried to spell Tylenol with the flowers) on the section of grass scorched by Tynal’s motorcycle. She said her heart goes out to both families.
Rohrbaugh said their motorcycle group — Stunting With Absolute Truth — has rigid rules that prohibit more than one rider at a time on the stretch of road used for stunts such as wheelies. He said if the rule had been followed, the riders would be alive.
Rohrbaugh acknowledged that stunt riding is dangerous, adding riders know the risks. He and Bako said their friend “died doing what he loved to do.”
Wanda Earles said she and her husband Rick lost their only son — who always wanted a brother. The Earles have two daughters, Beth, 16, and Becca, 13.
“He was very talented mechanically,” Wanda Earles said of her son. “He was co-owner of B&E Automotive Specialists.”
She said Brent concentrated on foreign cars and his partner, Emmanuel Miklos, handled domestic models. The business opened about five months ago on South Meridian Road.
“I want people to know he was a good kid,” Wanda Earles said. “I was never aware of Brent doing stunt riding — he knew better.”
She said he did enjoy speed but went to racing tracks, such as one in Salem, for the sport.
Loosing a ‘good friend’
“Part of me died yesterday. I lost a good friend — he was a momma’s boy, he was my baby,” said Laverne Tynal on Monday, her eyes welling with tears for the death of her youngest child. “If I could lay down my life for him I would. It’s just not fair. He loved his motorcycles. He started riding when he was 2.”
Tynal talked from her front porch, surrounded by friends; neighbors; her husband, Richard; son Richie, 26; and daughter Christine, 32. The grieving mother said Matthew was scheduled to begin training at T-Mobile on Monday.
“He was a student at YSU and had played football at Westminster,” his sister said. “Matthew was loved by everyone who knew him.”
Joe Mix, 21, of Austintown, said he was about 200 feet from the crash site and saw his friend, Tynal, get hit as he began to turn his bike. He acknowledged that the bikes are supposed to travel one at a time but said “sometimes it gets congested.”
Mix was among those who stopped by the Tynals’ house on Monday to offer condolences.
Linda Jones, a neighbor (and “second mother”), said Matthew Tynal often participated in charity bike runs. “I watched Matt since he was 6 weeks old,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes.