A 27-year-old Huntington Station motorcyclist was killed after colliding with a minivan on Walt Whitman Road in Huntington.
Brett Rainey was riding his 2000 Yamaha north on Walt Whitman Road at about 5:30 p.m. on May 15 when he struck the passenger side of a 2002 Chrysler Town & Country as the driver attempted to make a left turn into a parking lot. Lucas McAfee, an 18-year-old man from Fort Salonga, was driving the minivan.
Rainey was transported to Huntington Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the minivan and three male passengers were not injured and remained at the scene, according to police.
The death of Rainey has hit his family hard. His older sister Lisa Karrer said her brother was a great man who died too soon.
“He was beautiful,” she said. “From the day he was born he was amazing.”
Karrer described her brother as someone who was always by her side and had a great love of motorcycles. She said he got his first motorcycle at age 4 and spent much of his life riding dirt bikes, motorcycles and Jet Skis.
“He loved the thrill, its freedom and passion,” Karrer.
Rainey’s sister said her brother suffered from a drug addiction for eight years before going to rehab and getting clean. She said he spent his last two years sober, living with her and making his life better.
“He changed his life and he was finally happy,” she said. “He was finally living his life for the first time.”
The 27-year-old was also a father to a 5-year-old girl who was adopted by a family member a few months after being born. The tough decision came from Rainey, who knew she was better off being adopted by a family member, Karrer said.
“He was loving, he loved everybody,” his sister said. “He was always there for anybody.”
Rainey channeled his love for all things mechanical into working as a mechanic for the last couple of years. He also worked at a PetSmart in Huntington Station. When reached for comment, a PetSmart manager who would not give his name said the loss “hit the team really hard.”
Karrer said the family doesn’t want the driver and passengers involved in the minivan to blame themselves. She called it a “terrible accident.”
Services for Rainey are being held in New Jersey, where he is from, his sister said. It will take place this Saturday at Ora L. Wooster Funeral Home in Clementon, N.J.
He is survived by his girlfriend Danielle, sisters Lisa and Laura, his sister-in-law Deborah, his mom Drena Kanz, father Doug Rainey and two younger siblings Lilly and Ries.
Karrer and her wife Deborah Porretto will be hosting a memorial gathering at their home at 39 Dawson Street in Huntington Station on May 30 beginning at 1 p.m. for anyone and everyone who would like to come.