EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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September 1, 2011

Family mourns motorcycle rider killed at 16

LAWRENCE — As Yokasta Lara wept for her "prince," family members and friends who were gathered in her Haverhill Street home rubbed her back, caressed her hair and kissed her on the cheek.

"I'm heartbroken. What am I going to do now? Who is going to hug me in the morning?" said Lara. "He was my prince."

Her 16-year-old son, Luis Lara, was killed Tuesday night in a motorcycle crash.

When investigating officer Patrolman Mark Panagiotakos was dispatched to Canal and Amesbury streets around 9:10 p.m., he saw Lara lying on the ground being treated for a severe head wound by emergency medical technicians from Patriot Ambulance.

Coincidentally, the boy's grandmother drove by the scene at one point, not knowing her grandson was involved in the accident.

Lara was transferred to Lawrence General Hospital, where he died.

Five witnesses told Panagiotakos they saw Lara speeding on the black 1998 Suzuki motorcycle he was riding west on Canal Street. The witnesses said Lara was doing wheelies when he lost control, causing the motorcycle to swerve.

"Then they saw the bike and the operator separated near the tree located to the north of Mr. Lara while the motorcycle continued westerly," Panagiotakos wrote in his report.

Trooper Dana Atkinson of the Massachusetts State Police Accident Reconstruction Team is helping with the investigation.

"It appeared that Mr. Lara's body struck the tree while the motorcycle continued sliding west on Canal Street," Atkinson said in the report.

According to the report, Lara's helmet showed a large crack on the lower right side, the tree had a mark just above the ground and the motorcycle was heavily damaged on both sides.

Anthony Lara was waiting for news of his favorite nephew at the hospital when Lara's father, Fernando, came bearing the bad news.

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