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Dragged motorcyclist remembered as 'great man'

Pictures of Ed Patrick with his seven- and eight-year-old grandkids are how his daughter Babette Phillips wants the 54-year-old to be remembered. "He was a great man. He lived life everyday. He was happy. He never met a stranger," Phillips said.

Last night Florida Highway Patrol says Patrick was traveling along US-41 near Constitution Boulevard. That's when they say Donna Brown made a u-turn and hit Patrick's Harley Davidson from behind. Without stopping, troopers say she dragged Patrick along with his bike for three miles.

"You run over a raccoon you feel the thump, I mean, this was a motorcycle with a human being on it," Phillips said. Speaking to us over the phone from Ohio, Phillips says she found out about the accident from her dad's girlfriend, but the distance is making it hard for her to cope.

"Being helpless, being so far away was the hardest part because I wasn't going to get any answers," she said. She says her father was also from the Dayton area, but came to Florida in 2004 to help his grandfather recover from hurricane damage. She describes her dad as a family-oriented person who loved to ride his bike.

"That was his life, he didn't own a car," she said.

We did learn Patrick was convicted in 1983 of murder and served 20 years in prison. His daughter didn't want to go into detail about the case, but says that conviction should have no bearing on how her father is remembered.

"He served his time, it's nothing relevant with this case, she did something wrong," she said.

Babette says she has yet to tell her young sons their grandpa is gone. In her grief, she poses a question to the woman accused of killing her father.

"I want to know what Donna Lee Brown wants me to say to them. It's not fair that I have to break the news to them," she said.

Article by Julia Johnson

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