A Herman, Nebraska man was killed in a motorcycle accident Wednesday morning in Omaha.
Police say 22-year-old Fredrick Getzschman IV was heading westbound on Leavenworth when he failed to follow the curve to the right, striking a utility pole as he entered Elmwood Park around 3:30 a.m.
Getzschman was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
"He was always progressing. One of the smartest guys I knew," said Wayne Sullivan, Getzchman's friend.
Ricki, as he was known to friends, just returned home about a week ago after finishing his service with the Army. He enlisted in the Army after graduating from Benson high school and taking some college classes.
Wayne Sullivan has known Getzchman since the fifth grade. He still can't believe his close friend is gone. "It still hasn't sunk in. I don't know. I've got a bike and I ride but I don't want my bike no more, I don't. I've just thought about his family, loved his family," Sullivan said.
Getzchman's mom said he served a 6-month-tour in Afghanistan. He survived that tour, but couldn't survive this crash.
They spend most of the day with family, remembering the his best qualities. They said he was loyal, intelligent and funny, with a laugh you could never forget.
"He just didn't have time to really get started, and I said I was waiting for him to do this great good thing, and Dan (his step-father) said he did, he served his country," said mother Mary Chris Getzchsman.
Ricki is also survived by two younger siblings, Alicia and Geoff.
"And I just can't imagine all those moments in my life where I am going to say, Ricky should be here. It is has been a really tough day. It's hard to realize he is not going to be here, he was 22," said Alicia through tearful eyes.
She holds Geoff's hand when talking. Geoff said he spent everyday with Ricki since he came home.
"That's my big brother, I mean, I got to spend his last hours with him, and that means a lot," said Geoff.
Troy and Trevor Melton run an auto repair shop at the intersection. Both men say the area has lighting problems. "When I got here even at five o'clock this morning it was still dark out here. It was pitch black except for the flashing lights of the cruiser," Trevor Melton said. "A little flashing sign, you know flashing light would be alright, showing people there are some problems with this road," Troy Melton said.
A small memorial now stands at the crash site.