Buford, Ga. -- It takes a lot to make a group of grown Harley-Davidson riders break down in tears. But they said when a friend like Ralph Frazier Jr. is killed, it's a common response.
"It's heart-wrenching to have these discussions and to know the loss that we're enduring here," said Paul Christiansen, Frazier's friend of 35 years. "Ralphie got to the heart of those people, he got to my heart."
50-year-old Frazier was killed Thursday evening while on a bike trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A storm blew through the park, tearing trees down and trapping visitors in their cars.
Christiansen said Frazier had just pulled off the road to get out of the storm when he was hit by a tree branch and killed. His girlfriend was riding on the back of the motorcycle, and escaped with a leg injury. Because of the storm and the fallen trees, she told Christiansen it took two hours for an ambulance to be able to reach them.
Hundreds of people have been calling Frazier's Harley-Davidson dealership to find out what happened to him. He built the dealership with his family to its current size after starting in a small barn. His latest project sits unfinished in his maintenance bay. He leaves behind a sixteen-year-old daughter and a thirteen-year-old son.
"He loved his daughter and he loved his son - they were his world," Christiansen said, "When God's ready for you he's ready for you, and believe me Ralph was the kind of guy that was ready to go whenever he needed to. That's the kind of man Ralph was."