Minooka Motorcycle Rider Died en Route to Romeoville Warriors Watch Event

Ronald Oswald was involved in his riding community as a Will County ABATE ride organizer and a Warriors Watch rider.

Ron Oswald was not a veteran. But, he spent a lot of his time honoring those who served by riding his motorcycle in Warriors Watch rides.

"He was heading to Romeoville to do a send off when he got hit," said Barb Fitzpatrick, member of and Warriors Watch Riders.

"He had done one on Friday [for] the boy from Moline who was killed. He did the whole escort from O’Hare to Moline to bring home a fallen hero."

welcome home, send off and escort military personel with motorcycle cavalcades. Will County ABATE, which stands for A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education, organizes to push for legislation regarding motorcycle riders and educates the community.

Oswald, 57, of , was killed Saturday in a on Route 126 and County Line Road in Plainfield. Five others were hospitalized after the accident.

Brian Wendholt, Will County ABATE co-legislative coordinator, knew Oswald well. Oswald was very active in the legislative group and was the ride captain in years past, he said.

"He was extremely conscientious in setting up the rides," Wendholt said. "He would ride them himself first and then ride them the day before to make sure they were safe.

"He never left anything to chance."

Fitzpatrick agreed, saying Oswald was the one who made sure the Warriors Watch rides and riders were careful.

"He was the one who always made sure we rode safe," she said.

On Saturday, when Fitzpatrick did not see Oswald at the send off for the military member, she tried to call him.

"When he didn’t show up, I couldn’t get a hold of him," she said. "I saw the Plainfield Patch [story] and so I started calling the hospitals and that’s when I talked to his daughter."

A Dangerous Road

Wendholt said the intersection where Oswald was hit is a dangerous one.

"You get people from County Line Road who try to take any gap in the traffic on (Route) 126 that you see, then you get left turners on 126 who do the same thing," he said. "I generally try to avoid that intersection as much as possible and also the one at Plainfield-Oswego Road when I am on my bike, because I have just seen too many bad things nearly happen there."

Although was not a case of a car not seeing a motorcycle, but rather a chain-reaction accident, Wendholt and Fitzpatrick both agree that too often drivers simply do not see motorcycles.

"People see what they’ve been conditioned to see and there are obviously a lot fewer motorcycles on the road than other vehicles," Wendholt said. "They can see a motorcycle and it doesn’t register in their brain that have seen a vehicle."

To try to change that, ABATE goes out to area high school drivers education classes and teaches the new drivers about motorcycles. They hope in doing so they will raise awareness and perhaps prevent more accidents. They are active at , as well as Plainfield high schools.

"That’s one of our purposes for existence," Wendholt said.

Attempts to reach Oswald's family were unsuccesful.

Martin July 18, 2012 at 01:05 PM
My sympathies go out Ron's family. I have family that live in Plainfield and we drive by this area at least once a month (at a minimum). As a member of ABATE, myself, I know that Ron will be missed by the ABATE Organization. They do amazing work educating the citizens of Will County about Motorcycle Awareness. Ron was a good person and will be missed. --- Ryan M. Alm (Candidate for Illinois House of Reps. Dist.86).
Judith Parker July 18, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I too lost my husband from a motorcycle accident on 126 and Minkler 7 years ago and there isn't a day goes by that he isn't missed. Once again an innocent man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time was the victim of speed and RT 126. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Great article, it's nice to hear about all the joy he brought to others.
Kathy Cook July 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM
My youngest daughter was in Drivers Ed at Minnoka High School 5 years ago when ABATE came in to talk to the students. The impact of the stories told by Vi, to this day, have stayed with her. At that time I knew some of the members of ABATE and since then have grown to know more. This orginaziation is not only educating the young, but are some of the most caring souls I have come to know. All though I did not know Ron personally my family and friends did, and the lost will be felt for along time to come. RIP Ron.
Jim Morsovillo July 23, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Like someone said eariler, WHY IS IT ALWYS THE GOOD ONES?? Ron was indeed a special individual. I have rode with him on many missions with Operation Welcome You Home as well as the WWR and PGR. He was always concerned that the returning soldier, Marine, air men where given a homecoming to remember and if an honor mission that it was conducted with the highest respect. God bless you Ron for all you did and it was an honor to know you. My prayers are with the family. Respectfully Jim M. a fellow rider
Joseph Matthews July 26, 2012 at 08:24 AM
Regarding Rachel's comment- Really?!!


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