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Motorcyclists ride to honor teen killed in crash

Posted at 10:16 PM, May 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-28 01:16:57-04

They rode to remember a young life lost on a motorcycle. Hundreds and hundreds of motorcyclists made their way from Green Valley to Sahuarita on Friday night. Some people came with signs, others wore bright-colored green shirts and the rest came to carry the spirit of 18-year-old Tyler Woelfersheim. 

"I think he's smiling from above right now," said Lisa Chiariello.

Chiariello is Tyler's mother and she told KGUN9, she's been feeling her son all around her. 

"I keep hearing him say, 'Mom - Look at this bike!"... and telling me the statistics of all the bikes," Chiariello said.
 
She was the one who came up with this memorial ride idea, saying it would be the way Tyler would have wanted it. 
 
"I expected maybe 40 to 50 bikes at most," said Clayton Johnson "We're hoping to have about 300 when it is all said and done."
 
Clayton was Tyler's best friend and he helped his mother's dream memorial come true. He said, coordinating the event was stressful, but worth it.
 
"Giving him what he wanted has made it a lot easier," Clayton explained. "I was at his funeral this morning - that was hard, but giving him what he wanted is ultimately what matters the most."
 
Many riders taped signs to their bikes in support of Tyler, so-called 'T-Wolf,' while others sported the color of his green Kawasaki bike 
 
"The thing is, this is the biker community though," said Gregory Cottle. "This is what we do. A biker goes down, somebody wants to do something, we're all there. You know, you can see - we're all here from various walks of life and clubs."
 
Cottle helped organize Tucson riders to ride to Green Valley to be involved in Tyler's ride. He also started an organization aimed at helping those hurt or the families of those killed in motorcycle accidents. It's called The Down Riders Relief Program. 
 
The support of the community makes grieving a little easier for those who knew Tyler. 
 
"It definitely does help with the process of all of this to know that you know that he's okay and that he's happy and that he's watching over us all and he'll be with us for this ride and it's nice," said Sarah Brown, Tyler's girlfriend. 
 
Friday's route led riders from the crash site to his home, where his mother sat and watched them go by. Then, to the cemetery where he was laid to rest. 
 
Participants all came from across the state, some even across the country. One woman told KGUN9, she came from Wisconsin; changing her vacation plans to make sure she could be here Friday for Tyler.