Three separate, deadly motorcycle crashes happened in Horry County this past weekend.
Christopher Chavis, 47, died Sunday night on Hwy 544 when troopers say he hit the back of a pickup truck.
Matthew Turbeville, 30, died after he lost control of his motorcycle Saturday night on Hwy 9.
Rob Shubert, 31, a local firefighter and former marine, died after he wrecked his motorcycle Friday night on Hwy 707.
“Not a friend. You don’t expect it to be your best friend,” Kyle Peter said.
Peter met Shubert two years ago when Peter took a job at the Murrells Inlet/Garden City Fire Department.
“He always kept things interesting, always kept training you know relevant, exciting as much as possible,” Peter said. “And you know we had a lot of fun outside of work too.”
That included riding motorcycles together.
“I believe when he was younger he had a motorcycle for a short period of time, so he just wanted to get back into it,” Peter said. “I think I kind of gave him a reason, an outlet to do so.”
Peter said he knows every time he gets on his bike he could get hurt or killed. “I accept that risk. I accept that risk every time I go to work and may not come home from a shift.”
When asked if the death of his friend is going to change the way he thinks about motorcycles, Peter replied, “Not at all. When you break down being a motorcyclist, a fireman, you know, Rob being a Marine as well, life has risk. Everything about life has risk.”
Other bikers in the area said they’ve become a lot more nervous recently as Horry County continues to grow.
Carl Stroud, owner of Carl’s V-Twins Custom Motorcycle in Conway, said he doesn’t ride his bike as much as he used to.
“I don’t even feel safe in the car out on 501 sometimes,” Stroud said. “And it’s terrible, you know, with motorcycles, because people don’t pay attention to motorcycles as much as they do cars.”
Stroud didn’t personally know any of the people who passed away over the weekend but said the motorcycle community is a tight-knit one.
“Oh yes, it is very close, and everybody that’s been getting killed everybody else will try to help out. Have poker runs for them and stuff like that all the time.”
According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, early reports show that in each of the three-weekend cases the motorcycle driver contributed to the crash.
SCHP urges drivers and bikers to be extra careful on the road this time of year in Horry County with how busy it gets in the summer.
Cpl. Sonny Collins said if you’re in a car, make sure you look twice before pulling out in front of intersections and constantly check your blind spots when changing lanes.
But Collins said responsibility also falls on motorcyclists.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports not wearing a helmet, not having a valid motorcycle license and impaired driving are big factors in accidents.
“Weaving in and out of lanes, driving in-between traffic and lanes, speeding, all those things are causations we typically see when it comes to motorcycle crashes,” Cpl. Collins said.
“We’re going into the summer months, and we need to be very careful out here on our roadways.”