Kevin Hinnant killed in motorcycle crash
Kevin Hinnant, 24, of Laurel had a lot going for him. The Northwest High grad had a good job with Comcast, and in August planned to marry his fiancée, Chala.
Hinnant's mother Marlene Small says he didn't smoke or use drugs, but did have one major vice -- speed.
He'd do things like weave in and out of traffic, pop wheelies and drive way too fast.
"I'm sure he went over a 100,” she says. “He would never tell me he was going over 100."
Early on a late December Friday morning in Silver Spring, Hinnant's lifestyle caught up with him. Driving very fast with a blood alcohol level just over the legal limit, he lost control of his Kawasaki on the Beltway. He was thrown off and the bike hit a guardrail and burst into flames.
His helmet did its job protecting him - but four of his neck arteries were shattered, killing him.
Hinnant's two favorite roads to go fast on were the Beltway and the Baltimore Washington Parkway. State police say there are still a lot of other bikers out there doing the same things he used to.
Trooper Steven Weaver with the Maryland State Police says wild motorcycle riding is a growing problem around here.
"In all reality, some of these bikes can go 160, 180 miles an hour," Weaver says.
He says troopers do operations to try to catch lawbreakers and will sometimes chase them.
"We will pursue motorcycles if it's safe to do so, and it's not going to jeopardize our lives as well," he says. "It's a wonder, sad to say, it doesn't happen more."
William Price is a regular at the weekly bike night at TGI Friday's in Greenbelt, where Hinnant used to go.
He says it's common to see guys on bikes like Kevin's going well over a hundred.
"And that's the sad thing people don't realize -- not only is it so commonplace, but it's so easy on a sportsbike,” Price says. “You got a bike only weighing 400 pounds but yet it's making 150 horsepower."
That horsepower proved too much for Hinnant to handle on the curvy Beltway.
Marlene Small received an outpouring of love and support after her son's death. But her grief over losing her only child won't ever go away.
“We did everything together,” Small says. “It's been a long 30 days of living without seeing him."
She's begging bike riders who see this story not to do this to another mother.
"Slow down, slow down,” she says. “This is too hard for the family and friends -- it's too hard."