Dozens of bikers came out in honor of Lowell Police Chief Joe Landers during a fundraiser at Jose’s Restaurant in Springdale. Landers was a regular at “Bike Night” and the weekly event turned into a way for his friends and even some strangers to help raise money for Landers’ family.
Landers is in critical condition at a Florida hospital, after being hit by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle. Landers suffered massive injuries to his skull and pelvis. Family members said he's in a medically induced coma.
"He had a lot of brain damage. It takes time, It can take weeks, it can take months," his older sister Barbara Petrini said.
Landers’ son and daughter are in Florida at the police chief's side. They wrote a message thanking everyone for their support.
Joe’s ex-wife, Yvonne Hulsey, who keeps in contact with her son and daughter, said the law enforcement community in Florida has also been very supportive.
"The biker groups down there, they've got them rooms, they’ve got restaurants catering to them in the hospital. They’ve been more than supportive down there," Hulsey said.
Chief Landers enjoyed coming to “Bike Night" at Jose’s and his friends and co-workers are hopeful they will see him riding his motorcycle once again.
"Chief Landers isn't gone. We are hopeful and we are praying for him and we are praying for the best," said Paul Pillaro, sargeant detective with the Lowell Police Department.
Organizers raised around $5,000 through raffle tickets, a silent auction, and donations.
"It's overwhelming! I've had people walking up to me handing me stuff to donate and I don't know any of these people. Anyone who has donated, thank you from the bottom of my heart and I’m sure Joe’s family will feel the same way," said Ashley Mcgarrah, organizer and friend.