DeKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Two men escorting veterans to a memorial were injured after a wreck with a pick-up truck, Tuesday.
The crash happened around 6 a.m. on I-20 as they were heading west near Evans Mill Road.
The bikers, Dale Evans and Doug White, are part of the Patriot Guard Riders. The two men were escorting an Honor Flight out of Conyers, Ga. A bus filled with World War II and Korean War veterans was headed to Hartsfield-Jackson for a flight to Washington, D.C.
A banged-up Evans described his morning near Lithonia. As traffic started to build up, vehicles leading the escort hit their brakes.
"And when I finally realized they were slowing down, I eased on my brake and that is when my front end of the bike went down in the asphalt," he said. "That is when I wrecked."
As did White who also lost control in the same way.
"All of a sudden everything is coming to a screeching halt," Ride Captain David Shreckengost said. "I heard tires squealing behind me and then a crunch."
He came to a stop, threw out his kickstand and ran toward the riders to help as two paramedics jumped off the veterans' bus.
"Your worst fear is always that somebody got killed," Shreckengost said. "Because one guy actually did go down in front of a truck. The truck actually went over his legs but apparently didn't do any injuries."
Evans said this was only his second ride with the Patriot Guard but that he has been riding motorcycles for decades. Evans said he and White tried to avoid other riders and cars. Somehow, they only ended up with a lot of scrapes and bruises.
“I’m real thankful. The good lord was with me this morning, no doubt," Evans said. "There is not a doubt in my mind, he was with me. That is why I’m still alive."
Evans and White were hospitalized with injuries not expected to be life-threatening but their motorcycles had significant damage. Evans said he slid about 150 feet in the accident.
"These guys are always there for us; they do a great job," Anita Smith with Honor Flight of Conyers said. "We really appreciate what they do."
Evans said that if it wasn't for a damaged motorcycle and his injuries he would be at the airport to welcome the veterans back and escorting them home.
"Yes sir, because, tell you what, them guys that fought the war - they deserve this," he said. "They deserve everything that we are doing for them."
Police have not released details on what caused the accident adding that it remains under investigation.
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