Bike tragedy: Bangalow rallies
THE Bangalow and wider community has rallied to support the family of Jeff Schneider, who was tragically killed in an off-road motorcycle accident last Thursday in a remote area of the Cape York Peninsula.
Mr Schneider’s wife of 22 years, Jo, said she was “amazed” at the support she and her devastated children Dan, 15, and Ellie, 12, had received.
“I would love to say a big thank you to the Bangalow community,” she said.
Mrs Schneider, who told the Byron News on Monday she was “doing OK in trying circumstances”, has lived in the Bangalow area all her life, the past 16 years at Coopers Shoot.
She described her husband as a “good man and a good father” who was involved in a wide range of community and sporting activities.
“I don’t think there is anyone who could say anything bad about him,” she said.
“He was just a good bloke.”
Jeff Schneider, a building inspector with Byron Council for 20 years, was on a motorcycle “trip of a lifetime” with a dozen mates, mostly from the Byron Shire, accompanied by two support vehicles.
The three-week trip had been in the planning for 18 months, with some of the group riding their bikes from Bangalow to the Cape York Peninsula, including Mr Schneider, with the remainder shipping their bikes to Cairns and riding from there.
Mr Schneider was an experienced motorbike rider and was considered the group’s unofficial leader.
Last Thursday, he and Darryl Essery from Mullumbimby – and also a Byron Council inspector – rode together down a winding track apparently searching for a camp site.
Up until then, Mr Schneider had been mostly riding at the rear to keep an eye on the other riders.
Before setting off down the track with Mr Essery, he had warned the other riders to be careful riding down the hill because vehicles could be coming up the other way.
Tragically, rounding a blind corner, the two riders collided head-on with one of the support vehicles which had gone down the track earlier.
“They were not going fast,” Mrs Schneider said.
“I don’t blame anybody. It was a tragic accident.
“A big thank you to the guys on the trip.
“They tried their best for him. I don’t blame anyone.”
Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.
Mr Essery remains in Cairns Hospital with serious injuries.