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Family, friends remember Larry Brandon Blatnick Jr.

Police still investigating fatal motorcycle crash

Posted: August 17, 2012 - 12:12am
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Edna Abbott, right, her daughter, Alesa, 18, center, and Kaelyn Day, 18, bring flowers Wednesday to a impromptu memorial to 27-year-old Larry Brandon Blatnick Jr. who died Tuesday in a motorcycle accident on Egan Drive.  Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Edna Abbott, right, her daughter, Alesa, 18, center, and Kaelyn Day, 18, bring flowers Wednesday to a impromptu memorial to 27-year-old Larry Brandon Blatnick Jr. who died Tuesday in a motorcycle accident on Egan Drive.

An impromptu memorial sprung up at the intersection of Egan Drive and West 12th Street just a few hours after the crash.

Sunflowers and red roses in vases sit on the corner sidewalk, and a balloon that reads “You’ll be missed” sways in the wind. Visitors have frequented the spot and scrawled messages in chalk on the pavement.

It’s the one place 27-year-old Larry Brandon Blatnick Jr.’s father, Larry Blatnick Sr., says he’s tried to avoid.

“I haven’t gone over there yet,” he said by phone after making funeral arrangements. “If I break down and can’t handle it, nothing’s going to get done right now.”

Police are still investigating the fatal vehicle and motorcycle crash which occurred across from Harris Harbor Tuesday afternoon.

The Juneau Police Department said in an earlier release that he was riding a 2001 Honda motorcycle on Egan Drive outbound at the same time a Subaru was turning left onto West 12th from Egan inbound.

A witness reported the motorcycle slowed down temporarily and then sped up suddenly in an attempt to pass the Subaru, but ultimately colliding with the vehicle.

Lt. David Campbell said JPD is investigating to determine if criminal charges should be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office. Investigator Russ Haight is leading the investigation.

It’s too early to tell who was at fault, or what speeds both motorists were travelling, Campbell said.

Other details remain unknown, such as whether Blatnick was wearing a motorcycle helmet. Campbell noted one was found one scene, but it’s unclear whether he was wearing it or just carrying it on the bike. Witnesses couldn’t recall, he said.

The wrecked motorcycle was taken into evidence at the JPD station.

Police are also investigating whether alcohol was involved, although Campbell said there was no reason to suspect there was.

“But in a case like this, it’s always something that you want to try to determine,” Campbell said.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage will conduct toxicology screenings, Campbell said.

Blatnick said their family moved to Juneau in 1998 when his son was about 13 years old.

Blatnick attended Juneau-Douglas High School and Yaakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School and became a construction worker.

Like most Southeast Alaskans, he enjoyed the outdoors and loved sports, skiing, hiking, fishing, boating and camping. One of his biggest passions was skateboarding.

His father said the Honda motorcycle was the first one his son bought and provided a source of escapement and freedom. His father said his son had never been in an accident before that he was aware of.

The jarring crash, which many passers-by witnessed that afternoon, has left Blatnick Sr. wondering if he’s in a dream.

“It’s surreal,” Blatnick said. “You know, you question yourself if you’re in a dream or not. It’s a shock.”

Blatnick thanked police, especially Officer Burke, for being caring and professional. He also thanked all his son’s friends, family and community for all their prayers and wishes.

“It definitely has meant a lot,” he said.

Blatnick is survived by his mother, Sharon Powers, and her partner Glenn Mitchell; his younger brother, Matthew Blatnick, 16; and three younger siblings, Lamar, 6, Marlla, 7, and Marilla Cabrigas-Blatnick, 8.

Funeral arrangements will be announced once they are finalized.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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