A Willow River man with a passion for motorcycles - and most things motorized - has been identified as the man who died Monday afternoon when the grader he was driving went off a forest service road south of Prince George and into a lake.
Mervyne Philip Reeves, 63, raced stock cars for a time, was a dedicated fan of motorcycle drag racing, and liked to ride snowmobiles in the winter and Harley motorcycles in the summer. He was also an avid hunter.
"He was a pretty active guy and was involved in lots of stuff like that," said close friend Steve Shaw.
Despite a gruff exterior - his nickname was Buzzard - Reeves had a "heart as big as anything I've ever seen," said Pia Lund-Munro, who is organizing a memorial service for him.
"He had a phenomenal ability to remember a name," she added.
As a result, Reeves seemed to know people wherever he went.
"He could jump on his Harley and take off to California and he'd know people all down the line," said Will Valaire, another of Reeves' friends in Willow River.
As a result, his memorial service is expected to draw a large number of people.
It is set for Sept. 14 at the Ferndale Community Hall, noon start, followed by a motorcycle run to Reeve's home in Willow River an hour later.
Those who attend are asked to bring along a toy to donate to the Salvation Army - the annual Harley Owner Group Toy Run was a favourite event for Reeves.
The memorial service had originally been planned for the first weekend in September but was delayed a week so it would not conflict with a major drag racing event Reeves attended faithfully.
"There will be a lot of people," Lund-Munro said.
A "black lap" in Reeves' memory is also planned for this Saturday at PGARA.
Reeves grew up in Ontario and has lived for more than three decades in the Prince George area. He was a grader operator for many of those years but also worked in the construction industry.
"He was a character," Shaw said "He certainly had a lot of friends and he will be terribly missed, I think."
Emergency personnel were called to the scene on Stone Creek Forest Service Road, 9.5 kilometres off Highway 16 South at 1 p.m. Reeves was pulled from the cab but the attempt to revive him was unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Why the grader went off the road remains the subject of an investigation involving the Coroners Service, WorkSafeBC and RCMP traffic services.
"It's very early (in the investigation)," coroner Donita Kuzma said. "No answers at this point."