Man injured in crash that killed Buddy Amoroso remembers tragic day
ST. GABRIEL - 71-year-old Tom Clement was the last person to have seen East Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso alive.
"We're together a lot," Clement said. He still refers to Amoroso as if he was still here. "Buddy and I are close."
Their ten-year friendship, forged by bicycling, ended in tragedy on Saturday. That day, Buddy called Tom and asked him to go on a ride up to St. Francisville.
"I said 'I really don't want to ride that far, Buddy, I've got a lot to do today,'" Clement said. "He said 'let's do it, please.'"
Nearly four miles from finishing their ride, police say a 21-year-old in an SUV slammed into the pair from behind. Clement sustained major cuts and bruises and was lying unconscious on the pavement for a long time.
"They had had me on a backboard and when they dropped me on the gurney it woke me up, and the first thing I asked was 'Where's Buddy?'," Clement said.
Clement said his final memory of Amoroso is happy; the pair took a selfie 15 minutes before the accident.
"I don't know why, but I said 'Buddy, you and I don't take selfies. Let's take a selfie and be silly,'" Clement said.
Clement said he is speaking about his traumatic incident because he does not want something similar to ever happen again.
"People don't realize that a bicycle has the same right to the road as a motorcycle," Clement said. "It might slow them down two seconds to get around us, but they blow their horns at us, they scream at us, they curse us, they throw stuff at us, they buzz. We need education in this state.