Mourners gather to remember motorcyclist
Friends and family of a Huntington Beach motorcyclist killed in a Costa Mesa crash over the weekend remembered him as fun, generous and passionate about riding at a Monday evening vigil.
Chad deLorm, 40, was pronounced dead at the scene following a collision at 3:43 p.m. Sunday, near the Mesa Verde Shopping Center, authorities said.
He was heading east on Adams Avenue, just past Royal Palm Drive, when a woman in a 2005 Honda Civic turned left in front of him near the driveway of the Souplantation, Costa Mesa police Lt. Greg Scott said in a news release.
The motorcycle hit the passenger side of the Honda.
“What can you do?” deLorm’s mother, Catherine Zilliox, said Monday night during a vigil at the crash site. “He’s been riding for a long time. People in cars don’t look for motorcycles — that’s what I worried about.”
Zilliox was surrounded by a diverse crowd of about 50 — many bearing flowers and candles — gathered on the sidewalk just outside the center to pay their respects to her son, the father of a 19-year-old woman and an active member of the local motorcycling scene.
Fellow riders described deLorm as a conservative biker, who sometimes taught motorcycle-safety courses.
Asked to characterize deLorm as a motorcyclist, his friend, Dustin Yrizarry, 23, of Laguna Beach, said: “A good one.”
Yrizarry carried a shiny black motorcycle helmet, which guests signed using a silver marker.
Ian Taylor, 35, of Costa Mesa, said that no matter how much focus a motorcyclist places on safety, riders understand that there’s always risk involved.
“I hate coming out to these things — they happen far too often,” Taylor said. “Every time you throw your leg over, you realize it could be your turn.”
Outside his life on the bike, Lucinda deLorm said her grandson was the kind of guy who never missed a Mother’s Day. She said she planned to drink a sauvignon blanc he brought her this year.
His death, she said, came as a shock, although family members always held their breath until he was home safe from a long ride.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “He’s such a great, big guy.”
After Yrizarry presented deLorm’s father, Craig deLorm, with the helmet, Jerry Chu handed him a white hockey jersey with “DELORM” written across the back.
Chu, 41, of Huntington Beach, said he’d known Chad deLorm for about two decades, having met through a mutual friend. They played hockey together on a team called Blurr.
Both were part of a close-knit group of friends, which also included Mel Rees, 39.
DeLorm, she said, “was a riot,” and party to years of “crazy shenanigans.”
“We’re all going to miss him,” Zilliox said.”It’s going to be hard to be happy without him.”
Emily Elkendier of Huntington Beach wrote in an email that, “Anyone who knew Chad knows he was an amazing, selfless person. This is truly a tragedy. His life has been cut short and he will be missed.”
DeLorm is the second motorcyclist to die in a Costa Mesa wreck in two weeks.
The driver, a 62-year-old woman from Costa Mesa, did not appear to have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the news release. She was questioned and released.
DeLorm was identified by the Orange County Coroner’s office on Monday.
Witnesses are asked to call CMPD Lt. Darren Wood at (714) 754-5264.