Van drives into motorcyclists

| 03 Jan 2014 | 04:02

An accident marred the Chilly Chili Run Wednesday morning when a van drove into a group of motorcyclists who were preparing to leave the Ogdensburg Firehouse parking lot after completing the charity run. Several riders were injured and were assisted by the Ogdensburg First Aid Squad, according to a press release from the Ogdensburg Police Department.

The Ogdensburg Fire Department extricated one victim from the stack of toppled motorcycles. One victim was flown to Morristown Hospital and two were transported by the Sparta First Aid Squad to Newton Memorial Hospital.

Chilly Chili Run
Temperatures in the low 20's did not discourage 130 riders from participating in the hour long, 28.7 mile ride through Sussex County to benefit the Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice. The $20 entry fee included chili and hotdogs served after the ride.

“It is clear sky, the roads are clear,” said Mike Little of Rockaway, president of New Jersey Blue Knights, Chapter IX, sponsors of the event. “We should have a great ride and raise a good amount of money for Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice.” The salt and sand on the roads were not expected to cause any problems. “We take it slow. It is not a race, just a little tour.”

Home for hospice
Julia Quinlan, the President and Co-founder of Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, arrived just before the ride started.

“I look forward to New Year’s day every year,” said Quinlan. “I think the first [run] was 1984. Every year it grows.”

Quinlan explained the hospice looks forward to opening a new facility.

“This is a very special year for the hospice because we hope to have the grand opening of the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice sometime in May or June.”

The home will provide a comfortable, peaceful setting for those living out their final days. The 10 bedroom facility will also provide meeting and meditation areas for the families of the patients.

Blue Knights member Joe Riccardi, 80, of Newton said “there are 128 riders registered.”

The riders returned at noon and the Ogdensburg Police reported that the accident occurred “at approximately 12:05.” The proceedings were delayed as emergency personnel tended to the victims and the police interviewed witnesses.

Many riders warmed themselves with chili and hot dogs.

“It was a great ride,” said Rita Bahr of Hopatcong.

She was moderately successful in dealing with the cold.

“My toes and fingertips are frozen but the rest is good.”

Joe Glennon of Wantage reported some loose cinders and salt on some roads but described the main roads as “very clear.”

When most of the crowd wandered back inside the firehouse master of ceremonies Nick Irons had Cheech Lewis, daughter of the run’s originator, Dale Lewis pick the winning 50/50 ticket. Al Metz of Sandyston Township was the happy winner of $560. After giving the drum a long spin Metz picked the winning ticket for a 2013 Harley-Davidson FLS Softail Slim motorcycle. The winner, James Ryan of Hopatcong was not in attendance. Quinlan thanked the crowd for their support and wished them a happy new year.