By: Audrey Paulus
Angela Jean “AJ” passed away a little over a year ago due to a tragic motorcycle accident. We are featuring this Memorial of AJ because the loss of AJ is still relevant today. As many riders reading this will understand, losing a loved one stays with you long after the services are over.
AJ will always be remembered for the impact she left behind on family and friends. AJ was a mother of 2 beautiful daughters, Mya 16 and Kamryn 10. She loved being a mom and was also her girls’ biggest fan. She was a soccer mom and chauffeur. AJ would throw over-the-top birthday parties and sleepovers. There was nothing that AJ wouldn’t do for her kids.
The other love that AJ had found was motorcycle riding. On October 7th, 2017, with about six months of riding under her belt, AJ ventured out for her first ladies’ ride with some of the gals from Cool Biker Lunch: Sally, Caron, Annalise, Alma, and Audrey. The girls were waiting for AJ at Two Bears in Idaho Springs. She texted them that she was running late because she just got new tires at Sun Harley Davidson. The girls waited patiently for her. After an hour crept by, they became worried.
A gentleman named Temple approached them asking whether by chance they were waiting for a girl on a purple bike. He went on to say that he witnessed her motorcycle wreck on I-70. Here is Temple’s account of the events:
“AJ was behind my wife and me in our car going west on I-70 up near Floyd Hill in the left lane. I-70 was extremely congested. As we crested the hill at the Genesee exit, the highway was at a complete stop because of Buffalo gawkers. AJ was probably 60 – 100 feet behind me. I looked in my mirror and saw she was coming in fast and on her brakes hard. I told my wife who was in the back seat with our infant son to keep an eye on her. I immediately started pulling into the median to give her some room. My last view of her was her skidding and starting to high side. I was out of the car running before she stopped sliding. When I got to her side, she wasn’t breathing and had blood coming out the back vents of her helmet. I unzipped her jacket and immediately started compressions. Another woman ran up at this time. She was a nurse. She found a faint pulse and started consoling AJ. About a minute went by when AJ took breath and within about 5 minutes the ambulance was on the scene. I went to school to become an EMT. I highly recommend that everyone learn CPR today. You could give a family member, a friend, or even a total stranger the chance to speak with loved ones again.”
Temple had a strong feeling that AJ was probably on her way to meet other riders, so he went to the nearest biker bar, which was Two Bears in Idaho Springs off Hwy 6. He was dubbed a godsend by the five lady riders who were waiting for her that dreadful day.
AJ was in the hospital recovering slowly and making progress, but then she caught Methicillin- resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. She fought the good fight for 57 days; AJ passed away on December 2, 2017 at 12:12 p.m.
Family and friends did a celebration of life in AJ’s honor, and it was an evening of remembrance and a chance to say goodbye to a woman that touched so many lives.
The girls now live with their father, Mike, in Southern California.