AURORA, Mo. — Residents in Aurora are coming together to face a tragedy.
On Saturday, June 3, a group of motorcyclists were hit by a car. Four of the motorcyclists died and seven others were injured.
Several businesses across Aurora and Marionville are raising money to help with funeral expenses and medical costs.
“I mean, money doesn’t help any sort of heartache, but it sure can supplement some worry,” said Barbi Phillips, co-owner of Mulberry Tree Saloon. “So that’s what I want to do is just help in any way I can.”
The motorcyclists were riding as part of a toy donation for children in need. Phillips’ business was one of the stops on that bike ride.
“It was gut-wrenching and heartbreaking,” Phillips said, “And while you want to scream a million words, there are no words at the same time.”
Phillips is hosting a fundraising event outside her saloon on June 17.
The store manager at Shiners Aurora, Amanda Brigham, was friends with many of the riders. She said she immediately began raising donations when she heard about the accident.
“These are great guys and girls,” Brigham said. “I mean, very sweet, very giving. So as much as the community can help them, it’d be great.”
Jimmy Michel Motors is also planning a benefit to raise money – a car show with live music and food trucks.
“I look forward to a big event to take care of, to take care of these folks and help out their families,” said Taylor House, a general salesman at Jimmy Mitchel. “It’s sad, the fact of families having to go through this. But for us to step up and help, it’s what we’re here to do, it’s what I expect us to do.”
The car show is being held Saturday, June 10, starting at 6:30 p.m.
The motorcyclists killed were Kameron Hale, James Olmsted, Linda Anderson and a 17-year-old girl. The crash happened when the driver of a red Toyota Corolla crossed the center line of State Highway 39.
That driver is being charged with driving while intoxicated.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 51-year-old Theresa Manetzke admitted to troopers that she had taken several anti-psychotic medications just over two hours before the crash.
Manetzke failed field sobriety tests on scene but did agree to provide a blood sample for evidence.