Tragedy strikes at tribute

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Father of four Aaron Franklin, whose motorcycle crashed into a tree in Laguna, died doing what he loved, his partner said yesterday.

Mr Franklin, 41, was on a Ducati Owners Club NSW ride through the Hunter on Sunday to celebrate the life of a fellow rider who lost a battle with illness last month when he was killed after he failed to negotiate a left-hand bend.

He was last seen on Wollombi Road about 11.30am.

When he failed to call his partner Ronnete on Sunday afternoon, as previously arranged, she contacted club members, who contacted Penrith police and Mr Franklin was reported missing.

Ronnete and her sister, Alizah, drove from Sydney to begin looking for Mr Franklin and, after contacting Cessnock police, went out at first light to continue the search.

They found his body down a shallow ravine about three metres from the road at 8am yesterday.

Ronnete said Mr Franklin, from Dharruk in western Sydney, had been devastated by the recent death of his fellow riding partner and was to attend his funeral the day his own body was discovered.

‘‘He lived and breathed that motorcycle and he was a Ducati man through and through,’’ Ronnete said.

‘‘He truly died doing what he loved.

‘‘He had been managing a range of injuries sustained in previous crashes and was dealing with pain on a regular basis, but he’s not in pain any more.’’

He is survived by his children, Shona, 15, Aled, 13, Amarise, 3, and Natalia, 14 weeks, his mother Thelma, brother Scott, and sister Nerida.

Central Hunter police are investigating the crash and want to speak to anyone who was on Wollombi Road on Sunday afternoon.


Story by Sam Rigney 03 Apr, 2012

Reproduced from the Newcastle Herald (