LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4) – More than 100 motorcyclists, some of them from law enforcement, went riding Sunday in honor of a fallen officer, and to raise money for another.
Douglas County Deputy Ron King was killed in the line of duty 13 years ago. Englewood Officer Jeremy Bitner was killed by a suspected drunk driver in May.
To other drivers the long line of bikers on the road may have just looked like motorcycle enthusiasts, but the highly-visible group rode along the Front Range to raise awareness about motorcycle officers.
“It is dangerous, it’s on the highway,” rider Debbie Boyle said. “I think motorists on the highway don’t notice motorcycles like they should.”
The 13th annual Blue Thunder Motorcycle Run was held in memory of King who was hit and killed on his motorcycle by a drunk driver in 1999.
“We lost several officers in the last several years,” Boyle said. “Any officer who’s on the road, whether it’s on a motorcycle or in a car; their job is extremely dangerous.”
Money raised each year goes to King’s passion in life.
“Ron King was all about the kids and the high schools students, elementary students; he worked with the D.A.R.E. program,” Boyle said. “What we’re trying to do is assist the kids in the community in memory of Ron and to carry on his legacy.”
The proceeds go to scholarships for high school students, but this year some of the money will also go to Bitner’s family. The bikers made a stop at Laura’s Donuts in Lone Tree, a business that held its own fundraiser for the Bitner family.
“We’re trying to bring the law enforcement community together,” Boyle said.
Riders hope to expand their presence each year, in turn expanding awareness about the fallen officers and the sacrifices they have made.
Organizers were still totaling up the money raised from the Blue Thunder Motorcycle Run. It included registration fees, money from a raffle, and a portion of the money raised at restaurants along the way.