He who burns brightest burns quickest.
Chris Lapenski died in a motorcycle accident on the morning of Monday, August 13.
He was 36 years old, a longshoreman, riding his Suzuki Hayabusa – the fastest production bike in the world, capable of speeds close to 200 MPH.
He was on his way to work at TOTE that morning, and according to reports, might have been racing another bike (the other rider denies this) at speeds around one hundred miles an hour. Supposedly, the other bike briefly lost control swerving into his path, which in turn caused Chris to lose control. He came off the bike and impacted a wooden post.
This is a tragic loss.
Chris lived more in his 36 years than most people will ever live in double or even triple that period of time.
I worked with Chris at Evergreen for the last seven or so years. Chris was a good friend. I’m really going to miss him.
Chris was so vibrantly alive, I’m having problems accepting that I’ll never see him again. It’s hard to believe that he won’t come bursting into the room in a just a few minutes, wide-eyed, with some new story to tell.
He really was a great storyteller. He must be particularly upset that he won’t be able to tell the story of his last ride – I know he’d make the story a good one. “Man, you gotta hear this…”
Everything he did was larger than life. He was the consummate sportsman. He took no small bites.
Chris knew more about the Evergreen terminal’s operation than just about anyone else. He was an expert at any and every job on the terminal. When you had a problem with something on the terminal, Chris was the person you went to for a solution.
Chris occasionally displayed what some interpreted as arrogance and impatience, but the truth of the matter was that he was smarter and quicker and often more knowledgeable than most all of those around him. Even so, he was always eager to share his knowledge with anyone who asked.
Chris lived and breathed his Hayabusa. His cycle magazines are lying all around the office here. In his off moments while working, he’d almost always be on some website or internet forum dedicated to Haybusas. He’d always be calling you over to look at some new video or web page about a Hayabusa.
No one wants to die, but I’m sure if Chris had been offered a chance to pick the manner of his own departure, it would have come down pretty much as it did – doing something he truly loved.
It’ll never be the same here at Evergreen without him. His loss leaves a giant hole in all our lives. We’ll all miss him terribly.
My condolences to his family.
Our prayers are with you Chris.