Ride for Bryce to honor victim of drunk driver

Posted at 4:48 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 19:00:09-04

Bryce Buchholz should have been a high school senior. However, he never lived to graduate.

"I don't have is Bryce there and I don't see him anymore. I just have pictures," said his father, William Buchholz. "And I don't talk that every night before I go to bed. I still have his room, I still have the bike that he was hit on."

Michael Ettipio confessed to driving drunk and hitting Bryce, who was out riding his bike with a friend.

"Bryce was a happy kid. He wanted to be a swat guy, that was his goal in life. He would help anybody," Buchholz said.

"I could just see it all happen again -- not just what Bryce went through, but someone else."

That's why Bryce's loved ones created a bike and skate park in his honor. It serves as a safe place for kids to go to ride bikes and skate. His father also hopes the story behind it has a lesson.

T"hat's the whole point of building the park was not only to remember Bryce, but to remember how it happened. And this hopefully will save or stop somebody else from doing that."

This weekend, the 4th Annual Ride for Bryce will raise money to additions to the park. Organizers want to complete phase two. Bryce's father says a larger space is needed for park-goers. He also wants benches added for parents.

Above all, Buchholz wants to let people know, "When you (drink and drive) you may not hurt yourself, but you may hurt others and their families. Please don't do it."

Ettipio has been released from jail. He was sentenced to 1-3 years behind bars. Buchholz also urges the public to designate a driver if you are going out and drinking. 

Registration for Sunday's ridebegins at 9 a.m. at the park named in his honor at Keysa Park. The Ride begins at 11 a.m. There will be a longer course and a shorter than, meant for younger kids.

Registration is $10 before and $15 the day of. To pre-register you can contact William Buchholz at 830-8465 or Anne Farmer at 684-2406.