MANCHESTER - Family and friends are remembering a former fire chief who died Sunday after a car struck his motorcycle in Lakewood.
David "Rudi" Gaines, a single father of five, left his Lakewood home to go meet his new granddaughter for the first time. He was riding on Cedar Bridge Avenue when a car driven by 28-year-old Aurohom Zeffren made an abrupt turn into his lane and hit him.
Gaines was a longtime Lakewood resident and former chief of the Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Department in Manchester.
"He meant everything," says his son, Jaimeer Gaines. "Tell me how to be a man. How to take care of a family."
Friends describe Gaines as someone who was always trying to help. "He's a true brother to the firehouse, to a lot of people in the town, the county," says Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Trimarchi. "He's going to be missed."
A spokesperson with the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office says Zeffren will be ticketed for an improper turn. They have not determined if there will be criminal charges.