Updated June 11, 2021 - 10:22 pm
A motorcycle club joined hands Friday night with the family of a 58-year-old moped driver who was killed last week on a southwest Las Vegas road.
Walter Anderson of Las Vegas was struck by a 2017 Lamborghini Huracan while riding his moped near Russell Road and Rogers Street Saturday just before midnight. According to police, the driver, Andrew Rodriguez, 33, of New Braunfels, Texas, was going 141 mph in the moments before the crash and was later arrested.
On Friday night, Anderson’s three sisters, his mother, his children and the Marine Riders motorcycle club gathered at the same corner to place flowers and crosses and send prayers that Anderson was in a better place. The sidewalk had filled with about 50 family members, friends and motorcycle riders who knew the victim’s mother, 85-year-old Frances Anderson.
“I hope my brother’s burden is taken care of and that he’s happy and he’s out of pain,” Joan Anderson-Shelly, 54, said sobbing. “Because we aren’t. We will continue to be in pain.”
Frances Anderson whispered her pain from a chair under an umbrella, quietly telling the crowd that he was her only son.
“He was my best friend,” she said. “He was always there for me.”
Anderson’s ex-wife stood in the crowd, but after the family spoke she came to the front to hug Anderson-Shelly and tell the group about the experiences as a grandfather that Anderson will never have through their shared son, Ryan Anderson.
“I get to see that smile on my grandkids’ faces, the joy that they bring to myself and to my husband,” she said. “He will never get to see that. He won’t get to hear the, ‘grandpa, look at this, grandpa.’ My grandson asks about his grandpa all the time. He won’t get to see that.”
Rodriguez is charged with impaired driving resulting in death, reckless driving resulting in death and driving without a valid license. He posted $75,000 bail Tuesday with a condition he can’t drive or consume alcohol. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in the case Sept. 2, according to court documents.
Antoinette Alderman, 61, expressed anger that Rodriguez was placed on house arrest and that the sentencing guidelines for impaired driving in Nevada is a minimum of two years.
“You need to take accountability,” she said. “We want him to get the maximum sentence … He gets to be comfortable, and my brother is dead.”
The motorcycle club helped block traffic using a large truck while the group spilled over into a lane of traffic on Russell. They ceremoniously rode in, and at the end of the vigil they rode out the same way to honor Anderson. For an hour after the gathering officially ended, motorcycles drove by and revved their engines to the family.
Club member Seth Morgan encouraged those grieving to never take a day for granted.
“Keep this in mind and in your hearts,” he said. “When you walk out your door, hug your loved ones, tell them you love them because you don’t know what’s going to happen.”