NewsLocal News

Actions

'He is somebody that will never be forgotten': Friends remember Clairemont man killed in DUI crash

Posted at 3:53 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 20:54:31-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Friends and family members of a Clairemont man who was tragically killed by a drunk driver last week are commemorating his life and the memories they shared with him.

"There is a huge hole that can never be replaced by this wonderful person," said Dawn Ragnar.

Ragnar was a close friend of 59-year-old Steven "Steve" McHenry. McHenry was killed on Friday, March 25 while he was sitting on his parked motorcycle.

McHenry was unlike anyone else. His friends say he was a performer, a father of three, and a husband. He loved to cook, loved his community, and give to others.

"He was the kind of guy that everybody liked," said Jason Widmer.

"He would literally take the time to sit down and talk to people and really get to know them."

Widmer says he knew McHenry for five years and he already misses his bandmate.

"We are at a loss for words for what happened. And that is just a test to show you how precious life is and how things can change in a minute."

The pair sang with their bandmates on Friday night, as they do every Friday at the VFW in Poway. Their band, Country Crossovers have been performing weekly since the VFW re-opened after the pandemic.

Those who come to watch a show can always spot Steve in his usual showman outfit; glasses, polka-dot shirts, and funky shows.

Friday was no different, as Steve shared his gift of song with dozens.

His friend and bandmate Tom Hausherr was one of the last people to speak with McHenry.

"He had his helmet in his hand and his backpack and he left the hall, he went out, I could hear his motorcycle fire up and he left, at 10:10," recalls Hausherr.

25 minutes later, McHenry was hit by a Sedan while his motorcycle was parked in a bike lane in Poway. Hausherr believes he stopped using his GPS, as he was on his way to meet a friend who was performing with a live band.

Steve was thrown off his motorcycle and hit a light pole. Steps away, his motorcycle ripped a pillar out of the ground. The impact was so great that McHenry died.

"We can't understand the way he died that night," said Hausherr. "It's just totally undesirable."

Steve's friends are still in disbelief that the 22-year-old Sedan driver not only drove under the influence but left their friend, as neighbors were the ones to call 9-1-1.

"At the end of the day it's a very unfortunate situation, nobody wins," said Widmer.

The Clairemont native has been mourned by many. Steve was a volunteer with the VFW, a cook, singer, and was known for his storytelling and love for literature.

"He said Dawn you 'packed my parachute',' said Ragnar.

"I chuckled and said okay I don't know what that means. The message was you never quite know who is going to come into your life that is going to pack your parachute and save your life literally or figuratively...As it turns out, Steve was the one that packed our parachutes."

The avid motorcyclist, as promised by his friends, will always hold a special place in the VFW building, the Poway community, and in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him.

"I'm blessed to have met him," said Ragnar. "And he is somebody that will never be forgotten."

The driver who hit McHenry was charged with DUI and vehicular manslaughter. She is currently booked at the Las Colinas Detention Facility.

Steve's friends have created a GoFundMe to help with finances, which can be reached here.