Independence widow mourning after husband dies in motorcycle crash with suspected drunk driver

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — An Independence woman is mourning the loss of her husband to a deadly motorcycle crash. Independence police say a driver, who may have been drunk, hit the couple on their motorcycle.

Sheila and Kale Harrison were both taken to the hospital, but Kale died days later. Sheila said she never imagined losing her husband this way. She said they were both wearing their helmets when they were hit, and she hopes to see justice for her husband.

“It’s been very hard, but I’m going to be strong,” Harrison said.

Around two weeks ago, they were out for a midnight ride when everything changed in an instant.

“We made it almost all the way across, and then he hit us, and we hit the hood, we flipped, and then we hit the windshield,” Harrison said.

Sheila and Kale Harrison
Sheila and Kale Harrison

Independence police said on June 5, the driver hit them near East 8th Street North and North Jones Road. He might have been impaired. Harrison said when she came to her senses after the crash, she was horrified.

“I say, it’s going to be OK. It’s going to be OK. From his nose down, his helmet had shattered,” Harrison said.

Elena Hunsaker lives near Jones Road and said her husband woke her up that night, frantically calling 911.

“It was still and quiet, and all you could hear was that lady calling out for her husband,” Hunsaker said.

Paramedics took both Sheila and Kale to Centerpoint Medical Center with serious injuries. Sheila’s health improved, but Kale’s declined, and then he had a stroke.

“I just laid there with him and held him, and told him it would be OK and he was going to make it, and I love him very much, and I will always be his wife,” Harrison said.

The family was left with the difficult decision to end Kale’s life support. He was an organ donor and was able to help others through his skin and eyes.

Now that Sheila is recovering at home she hopes there will be justice for her husband.

“Justice. I mean, I don’t want him to do this to anybody again. I don’t want any family to have to go through what me and my family are going through,” Harrison said.

“He clearly didn’t see that the motorcycle was coming down the road and just pulled out right in front of him,” Hunsaker said.

Harrison said when they first started dating more than a decade ago, she and Kale had a motorcycle crash. It was then they knew they wanted to be together. Now, she can’t believe a second crash separated them.

“All the time, I just look up at the sky and say, ‘Kale, I love you, and know that I will always be your wife. Always,'” Harrison said.

Independence police say the driver was arrested at the time of the crash, but has since bonded out. They did not release his identity. IPD is still investigating the crash and will send the case over to the prosecutor when it is complete.

The family started a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses and Sheila’s long road to recovery.

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