Published on August 20, 2013
Nicole Heffell holds a photo of her late fiancé Dustin Myles Lord, who was killed while riding his motorcycle in June when an SUV pulled in front of him. Heffell is looking to promote safe driving by opening a P.E.I. chapter of BikerDown.org.
Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Published on August 20, 2013
Dustin Myles Lord of South Freetown was killed in June when an SUV pulled in front of him. Lord's fiancée Nicole Heffell is looking to start a P.E.I. chapter of BikerDown.org, a non-profit organization that helps responsible riders that have been hurt in an accident.
Nicole Heffell has had a good view of the biker life.
She has never ridden a motorcycle. She has only ever been a passenger. But from her vantage point, she had been well positioned to sit back and soak in this close-knit community.
She liked what she saw. She liked what she experienced.
Bikers have other bikers’ backs.
That strong connection has been driven home with a heartening thump following the death of Heffell’s 24-year-old fiancé, Dustin Myles Lord, killed when an SUV pulled in front of him on June 6 as he rode his motorcycle just two minutes from the home he shared with Heffell in South Freetown.
The biker community was quick to roll up to Heffell with support.
Bikers have been helping her to move. Bikers restored Lord’s 1951 International pick-up truck, finishing the job as a collective tribute to their fellow rider. Bikers continue with kind-hearted gestures.
“It’s unreal,’’ says Heffell. “They don’t even have to know you and they are knocking down the door to help you.’’
Lord’s grieving mother Cheryl has always been able to see through the sometimes tough-looking exterior of bikers with their leathers and the like. After all, she knew all the boys that rode with her boy before they ever revved up their first bike.
Her own son, she notes, was gruff in appearance. He had a beard, Mohawk and tattoos on his muscular arms.
“He was a big, strapping young man but he had a heart as big as all of outdoors,’’ she says.
“He was loving. He was giving ... he would put off what he was doing to do for someone else.’’
As a result of losing her fiancé in such a jolting manner, Heffell has stumbled across a group called BikerDown.org.
Bikers, dealers and supporters created the non-profit organization to help responsible riders that have been hurt in an accident. BikerDown.org volunteers meet with injured riders immediately after the accident to evaluate their needs. Financial support, care packages, and referral services are offered based on needs.
BikerDown.org also takes a proactive approach to helping riders by offering nationwide roadside assistance, cash benefit insurance, and even accidental death benefits.
Heffell has decided to climb aboard. She is looking to start a P.E.I. chapter of BikerDown.org. She wants to do her part to educate the motoring public — those driving cars, trucks or motorcycles — to take care when they hit the road.
Large yellow stickers reading Check Twice, Save A Life, Motorcycles Are Everywhere ... In loving memory of Dustin, D-Train Lord are already finding their way onto all types of vehicles.
Prevention, Heffell stresses, is her focus.
“I don’t want to see anybody else have to go through this,’’ she says.
“I always say, ‘I can never bring him back but I can stop it from happening to someone else.’’
Cheryl Lord shares the sentiment.
She says her son was a fighter for the underdog. Dustin wanted to make a difference.
Now, in his memory, family, friends and fellow bikers will work to make sure Lord’s final, fateful ride was not in vain.
“We want to make a difference for him,’’ says mom. “We don’t want to see another family going through the pain we are.’’
Cheryl Lord believes getting involved with BikersDown.org will allow her and others to help save lives.
“If working with or for BikersDown can make drivers more aware and get them to slow down and think when they are out on the road ... that’s our goal.’’