Motorcycle victim's mother hopes crash sends strong message
STRATHAM — Kathy Tarbox still doesn't know exactly what happened in the early morning hours Tuesday when her son and his new girlfriend were killed in a horrific motorcycle accident on Route 101, but she hopes there are lessons to be learned.
State police are investigating the possibility that Michael Gazeaud, 36, was travelling at nearly 120 mph around the time his 2007 Yamaha motorcycle went off the highway and slammed into two road signs.
Gazeaud, of Raymond, and Alexa Christakos, 23, a model from Lowell, Mass., with an elite promo squad for a semi-professional football team, died in the crash — their bodies found later by a motorist, along with wreckage from the bike.
If her son really was barreling westbound at high speed, Tarbox hopes the deadly accident will send a message to others.
“My hope is that people will learn that one thrill could change your life or end your life. It's just not worth it,” the Manchester mother said, fighting back tears as she recalled her son's love of motorcycles and other passions like skiing, canoeing and fishing.
State police Lt. Gary Wood said investigators are still looking into whether the accident discovered around 6:18 a.m. Tuesday involved the same motorcycle that was seen by a state trooper a couple of miles east on Route 101 in Exeter around 12:30 a.m. that day. The trooper caught only glimpse of a motorcycle clocked at 119 mph on his radar.
The motorcycle wasn't pursued because it was going too fast and quickly disappeared from sight, state police said.
It's possible that the motorcycle crashed on the side of the highway and wasn't seen until sunrise six hours later, state police said.
The crash has left Tarbox grief-stricken and struggling to understand why her son would have traveled at such a dangerous speed. She said she's assuming her son was the same motorcyclist seen by the trooper earlier.
“I hear things being said about him driving so fast. He made a wrong choice,” she said. “I just want people to know that he's not a bad person. He was truly a good person who made a bad choice. Now I can't imagine life without him.”
Tarbox described her son as someone who was “loving and caring” and came from a family of motorcyclists. He'd been riding motorcycles since his early 20s.
Gazeaud was a security officer at the Seabrook nuclear power plant.
A day after the accident, his best friend placed two large white crosses at the site of the crash. The roadside memorial has grown, with others leaving flowers, candles, pictures and other mementos.
Meanwhile, friends and family of Gazeaud's passenger are also mourning her loss.
Gazeaud began dating Christakos after they met at Motorcycle Week in Laconia in June.
Christakos was a member of the Chargettes, the elite promo squad for the Tri-City Charge semi-professional football team, which plays in Sandown.
Leanne Cryts, general manager for the Tri-City Charge and Chargettes, described Christakos as someone who was the “true epitome” of a Chargette.
“She was a gorgeous, hard-working, strong willed and admirable woman. Always quick to lend a helping hand. Alexa was a beloved addition to the Tri-City family. She was beautiful inside and out …” Cryts said, adding that a moment of silence will be held at a game on Saturday.
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