Rolling Thunder members honor veteran killed in crash


Dozens of Rolling Thunder members turned out in Kingsport to honor a veteran killed in a recent crash.

Marine veteran and Rolling Thunder member Sam Fanning was killed on Wednesday when his motorcycle collided with a car at the interchange of I-26 and I-81. His funeral was held today in Kingsport and members were out in force.

See also: Motorcyclist killed in I-81 crash

“He was very active in the community here in Kingsport, he was well known. The man had a smile on his face everywhere he went. He was a marine, and he was very proud of being a marine,” Rolling Thunder member Bob Phillips said. “Of course, me being Army, we liked to ride the Marines a little bit, but he was one proud guy. Good Christian man, he loved his Lord, loved his country, and loved his family. And his family, it’s going to be rough on them.”

Fanning has several brothers that are also involved in Rolling Thunder and the members there said it was an honor to represent him and his family. Rolling Thunder does escorts for veterans and other veterans organization events and members say Sam was always there for other veterans.

With temperatures warming up, more and more people will be out riding motorcycles and people need to be extra aware of them on the roads.

“The sunshine brings riders out, and it is good to ride in warm weather and sunshine. I just ask the public, just please beware, just take that second look,” Phillips added. “From all the details that we know, it was just a freak accident. No one knows who was at fault. But it is just dangerous to be on a motorcycle, especially on the interstates.”

The Kingsport Police Department is investigating Wednesday night’s crash.

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