Category: Archive

Bridge crash claims Irish biking enthusiast

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

A County Westmeath man was killed on the highway last week after his motorbike collided with another vehicle on the George Washington Bridge.

Friends said Athlone native Billy Kelly died after his motorcycle collided with a refuse truck that had pulled out behind him as he crossed into the same lane.

Friends and family gathered for a brief mass for Kelly on Saturday in Yonkers, where the 32-year-old Irishman had lived with his fiancé and their baby daughter, said Fr. Tom Flynn, who heads the Aisling Irish Center in Yonkers.

Kelly had been traveling to New Jersey, where he worked as a mechanic fixing construction vehicles.

A keen biker, Kelly had joined the Celtic Motorcycle Club, a New York-based organization that meets in the Bronx for trips and events, said one of his friends, Rory McCann.

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"He loved the bikes. He loved to have a laugh with the boys," McCann said.

In a tribute to Kelly’s biking passion, after his funeral service on Saturday, about 40 members of the Celtic Motorcycle Club escorted his hearse through New York to Kennedy Airport, where preparations were made to fly his remains back to Ireland.

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