THEODORE, Ala. (WKRG) — A fatal motorcycle crash claimed the life of 21-year-old Darren Balthasar and sent an 18-year-old friend of Balthaser’s to the hospital.
“He was perfect to me, like, you know, he was so smart. He could do anything,” Paige Balthaser, Darren’s sister, said.
The wreck happened on Old Pascagoula Road in front of the Cedar Grove Baptist Church.
Balthaser was driving a 2019 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle when he and his friend, who was on a 2003 Yamaha motorcycle, were struck by a 2006 Chevrolet Avalanche.
The 18-year-old juvenile, whose name has not officially been released, remains in critical condition.
“It really hasn’t processed with me yet that he’s gone. I don’t know,” Gage Nassar, a friend a coworker of Balthaser, said.
The driver of the truck, Johnathan Wheeler, was taken into custody by State Troopers and has since been released. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident among others.
“This is really going to be a big impact in our lives. He was always there for everybody. Even in their hardest times, he made someone smile,” Hayden Roberts, another friend of Darren, said.
The family put a cross at the scene of the wreck, and they said they are planning more events to honor their lost loved one.