Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

RIP JMA. So Unexpected.

This has been a bad week.

Today I found out that my friend and old coworker, John-Mark Arechiga, died in an accident. here is the announcement from he and his wife's racing site http://www.littlebigracing.com/

Saturday, May 10, 11am, Buttonwillow raceway: John-Mark went out for a second practise session of the day on his GSXR 1000. He was extremely excited about and confident in this bike. After a year and a half of not getting along with a 2006 ZX-10, he felt he could really be fast on this bike, get back to some of his old times on it at the racetrack. He worked in preparation for this race weekend for days on end, even after the bike was essentially race ready he fiddle with every little thing on it to make it exactly how he wanted it. He didn't always pay such close attention to his bikes, only the ones he loved, like his Centauro Moto Guzzi, and this bike. After 4 or 5 laps he hit the first rumble strip coming through the esses, upsetting the bike. He tried riding through it but by the time the second rumble strip came it, it was likely too hard to keep it under control after hitting the first and it threw him off. When the ambulance arrived he was unconcious but breathing on his own, with a steady pulse. Evidently his pupils were dialated and unresponsive to light. No one who was not with the ambulance was told this. He stopped breathing on his own in the ambulance and was put on a respirator. His heart stopped and was started more than one time in the ambulance ride. When he arrived at the hospital, he had no pulse.They tried for 45 minutes to revive him but were not successful. The cause is suspected neck injury but as of yet unconfirmed. John-Mark always said he did not want a fuss over his death - all he wanted was for everyone to have a party and have a good time.

Cocktails and a memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 17th at the Sheraton in downtown San Diego (1380 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, 92101) 6:30PM to 8:30PM, with an after party to continue at a large house very nearby Point Loma (address to be provided soon, it's right near the airport). For those attending the various races over the weekend not able to make Saturday, please join many friends and family at a party Friday, May 16th at a the same Point Loma home. Or at any time during the weekend for that matter.

I need someone to come with me to this funeral thing. I know we're supposed to have a good time but i've been crying and choking up all morning. i'm thinking this whole party funeral idea needs to be rethunk. then again, maybe a few dirty martinis will take the edge off the grief. i guess it's good that he died doing what he loved. Ugh, he was such a funny, intelligent, passionate person. you just assume people will be around for as long as you can imagine in the future. nicole kidman's quote from days of thunder holds true "Control is an illusion. Nobody knows what's gonna happen next: not on a freeway, not in an airplane, not inside our own bodies and certainly not on a racetrack." The only control is knowing there is no control.

I spent most of Sunday at the hospital where my grandma was being treated for what is most likely shingles. if you google neuralgia or shingles you will see that the pain associated with it is acknowledged as some of the worst pain anyone can feel. and this is what is happening to my poor grandma. and it will take weeks to get better. she had gone to the ER and they sent her home but the pain was so bad she went back and they had her stay overnight for tests.

those personal tragedies in combination with global tragedies like the earthquake in china and 120,000 people dying of disease and oppressive regime in Myanmar qualify this as a REALLY BAD WEEK!


Anonymous Allyson Smith said...


My heart goes out to you and to everyone else who knew John-Mark.

John-Mark and I worked together as technical writers for a San Diego biotech company. Friday afternoon, when he left work, he told me he was going out to buy a Mother's Day present for his wife, and mentioned that he had to get up early Saturday because he was going to a race.

From the moment I first met him two months ago, I immediately liked him. He was so open, intelligent, and friendly. He was always so willing to help with the issues that came up on the job, and I thoroughly enjoyed going into work each day because of his presence.

Other guys from different departments, who also are into motorcycles and racing, would often stop by our cubicle area to talk to John-Mark. His enthusiasm for the sport he loved so much was infectious.

All of us who were John-Mark's most recent coworkers are so saddened to lose him, and we already miss him so much. Even people who only recently met him are shocked and devastated by his unexpected passing.

We all feel like we just didn't have enough time with him and that there were so many more things we wanted to talk about with him.

John-Mark was an exceptional human being. My heart and the hearts of all who worked with him go out to Britt, to his family, and to all of his racing friends and others who were blessed to know him. He will not be forgotten.

May his good, lively, friendly soul rest in peace and eternal bliss.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

How tragic! I'm so sorry, darling.

4:08 PM  

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