Motorcyclists reach Midwest
Monday, September 11, 2000
By Mark Melady
Telegram & Gazette Staff
One of the city firefighters motorcycling to Colorado for a national memorial to fallen
firefighters suffered minor injuries yesterday when his motorcycle crashed in heavy rain
Lt. John H. Rogers was scraped and
bruised in the accident, according to Capt. James J. Nishan, one of two Worcester police
officers taking part in the journey. Lt. Rogers was taken to the hospital for
A separate accident in the same area -- a
section of Interstate 70 under construction on the outskirts of Indianapolis -- left an
Indianapolis fire battalion chief and another rider with minor injuries.
The two men had joined the nine-man
Worcester group, as firefighters, police and bikers have been doing periodically for
segments since the trek began Friday morning.
It was a torrential rain,
Capt. Nishan said. Combined with the rough surface made for tough going.
Lt. Rogers was taken to an Indianapolis
hospital for X-rays of his foot and leg, Capt. Nishan said. Worcester paramedic Edward
Ramstrom treated Lt. Rogers at the site of the accident, about 15 miles outside of
He was up and walking but a little
sore, Capt. Nishan said. The X-rays are just to make sure. John wants everyone
to know he's on a quest to honor our six firefighters and nothing's going to stop him.
Even if Lt. Rogers' motorcycle cannot be
repaired in time, the group is carrying a spare motorcycle in the support truck that is
The group left the Worcester Fire
Department's Grove Street headquarters Friday morning, riding in the memory of
Firefighters Paul A. Brotherton, Timothy P. Jackson, Jeremiah M. Lucey and Joseph T.
McGuirk, and Lts. James F. Lyons and Thomas E. Spencer.
The group stopped Friday at noon in New
York City in the Bronx for lunch at a firehouse, and moved on to Philadelphia, where the
men had a lasagna dinner at the Chinatown fire station.
On Saturday, they were treated to a pork
barbecue lunch in Harrisburg, Pa., by Local 128 of the International Association of
Firefighters before moving on to Wheeling, W.Va.
That night the bride at a wedding
reception across from the fire station where the group was staying invited the men to the
reception. Several did, said Capt. Nishan, and were believed to have danced.
I couldn't wait to get to bed and
my inhaler, said Capt. Nishan, who suffered the first asthma attack of his life a
few weeks ago, a condition that has been made worse by allergies.
Yesterday morning the group traveled from
Columbus, Ohio, to Springfield, Ohio, on a secondary road to allow small fire departments
along the way to salute the riders as they passed.
They raised their ladders and the
men stood outside the station saluting, Capt. Nishan said.
As many as 200 bikers have accompanied
the group for legs of the trip for a hundred miles or more. Two New York City firefighters
and a Philadelphia firefighter have joined the group and will continue on to Colorado
Springs for Saturday's memorial in honor of firefighters who have died.
The Worcester group also includes Police
Officer Thomas E. Bishop, Fire Lt. Peter J. Lemieux, and Firefighters Michael P. McKeown,
Paul D. Cicero, Paul E. Brosnihan Jr and Timothy P. Foley.
© 2000 Worcester
Telegram & Gazette