American Legion riders remember fellow rider killed in Monday night wreck


POLK COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Livingston motorcyclist, who was a Vietnam veteran, died after a driver pulled in front of him on FM 3277 in Polk County.

Randy Lee Harrington, 55, of Livingston, died at 9:15 p.m. on the scene.

According to the DPS report, Harrington was driving his 2006 Harley Davidson southbound on FM 3277, one mile south of FM 2457, at 8:50 p.m. when a Michael Clay-Brit Jones, of Livingston, who was driving a 1998 Chevy pickup northbound on FM 3277, turned in front of him to go into a private drive. Harrington hit the pickup.

Harrington was wearing a helmet.

Harrington was wearing a Vietnam veteran jacket and a Patriot Guard Rider helmet. Patriot Guard Riders is a national organization whose members ride motorcycles to military funerals to show support.

Harrington's friends and family are mourning Harrington's loss. East Texas News talked to some of his friends and fellow American Legion Riders.

"I got up this morning and noticed his motorcycle was gone," said Harrington's next-door neighbor and friend, Jim Lewis. "I had a bad feeling."

Lewis' bad feeling turned out to be right.

Harrington's friends say he loved his family and his country.

"He's got a grand baby that will be born that he will never get to see," said Chuck Baxley, First Vice President of AMerican Legion Post 629,.

"He was patriotic and just had good moral character," Lewis said.

Harrington was a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War and combined his love for motorcycles and his country by joining the American Legion Riders and the Patriot Guard. He used both groups to honor fellow veterans.

"The Patriot Guard underneath the American Legion Riders was his number one love," Baxley said.

"The patriots guard and the riders as well are going to find it hard to replace him," said Rob Adkinson, American Legion Commander of Post 402.

Baxley has been riding with Harrington since he first started and recalled Harrington's plea to be accepted into the group.

"What about a 1200-pound horse with four legs, and I said, "Well I think that equals 650, but you still can't be a rider, so he got him a Harley."

With Harrington's death still fresh, Baxley already knows what his legacy will be.

"The man served his country, the man served his community, and the man served every veteran that fell that served our country, for our freedom," Baxley said. "For you to be doing what you're doing right now; for me to be sitting here right now. That's the legacy I hope is remembered for Randy Harrington."

Harrington was slated to be a guard for the traveling Vietnam Memorial when it comes to Cleveland this fall. Baxley said friends at Post 629 and 402 are planning on taking his spot.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Cochran Funeral home in Livingston. At this time, a date or time has not been set yet.

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