Friend: Motorcyclist killed was Marine, Patriot Guard member



Posted on September 12, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Updated Sunday, Sep 15 at 8:08 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A friend of the man killed in a motorcycle crash Tuesday said the victim was a Marine Corp veteran and Patriot Guard member.

Michael P. Lovas, 66, died Tuesday following a crash near Havana in East Spokane, according to investigators.

Seven years ago, Lovas was captain of the Northeast Washington Patriot Guard, a title now held by his friend Larry Griffith.

He took his position and his role in the Patriot Guard very seriously,” Griffith said.  “[He] wanted to make sure when we were at a service everything was right, everything was respectful.”

The Patriot Guard attends funeral services of veterans to support their families and protect them from uninvited guests.  Now, the Guard is preparing itself to do the same for one of its own.

“All of the missions are tough,” said Griffith.  “But when it is somebody you have a personal connection to and who dedicated several years of his life to the mission of the Patriot Guard - this is going to be a really hard one for everybody.”

The Spokane County Medical Examiner called Lovas’ death an accident. The motorcycle crash amputated Lovas’ left leg according to witnesses at the scene. His autopsy stated that Lovas died from blunt impact.

“Can't be true,” Griffith recalled.  “Michael was always gonna be here.  Can’t be true.  But then I saw the pictures and I recognized his bike,” he said.  

Officials said the crash was between and motorcycle and a truck at 12:46 p.m. Authorities said the driver of a white pickup was headed west on Trent and collided at the intersection with a motorcycle going east on Mission.

Both people involved were transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Authorities confirmed later that Lovas’ had died.

Griffth remembers Lovas as an extremely personable person.  According to Lovas’ own webpage, the man had been volunteering as a mentor to help fellow veterans in legal trouble.  The page also said Lovas operated a non-profit that provided spontaneous acts of kinds to veterans.

“He's gonna be missed, Griffith said. “I’m blessed that I got to know him.”