Photo courtesy of a GoFundMe page for Anthony Champion.
For a man not yet 30, Long Beach resident Anthony Champion seemed to have left a big impression in a community where he lived and worked before he died tragically when his motorcycle collided with a car near Recreation Park Saturday evening, according to officials.
“He was the single most selfless human being we have ever known,” his co-worker at The Lodge Barber Co. Sergio Gomez said in an email. “Everybody mattered to him and he mattered to all of us.”
Champion, 28, was riding a 2003 Triumph Bonneveille motorcycle eastbound on 7th Street on Saturday, July 16 when he broadsided a 2013 Volvo S60 being driven by a 36-year-old Beverly Hills woman, according to the Long Beach Police Department. The crash happened at about 7:00PM.
The woman, traveling westbound on 7th Street, was making a left turn onto Santiago Avenue on a yellow traffic control light and simultaneously trying to move out of the way for a fire engine traveling southbound on Santiago Avenue, an LBPD release stated.
The fire engine was responding to a collision that happened in the same intersection about 20 minutes prior, and had approached the area with its red lights and siren activated, according to officials.
Police investigating the first crash rushed to an unconscious Champion, who was lying in the middle of the intersection, behind a vehicle, officials stated. Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) paramedics, who were also at the scene, transported Champion to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.
Friends turned to social media to express shock and sadness for a young man who died so suddenly.
“We love you we miss you baby boy. Forever in our hearts,” read a Facebook post from The Lodge Barber Co. on Sunday.
“He was the prime example of a loving father and a hard working man,” Syndicate Barbershop posted on Instagram. “He was taken way too soon.”
Champion left behind a fiance, two sons and an 11-month old daughter. A GoFundMe page set up by Gomez for Champion’s family has already raised over $26,000 of a requested $30,000.
“His family was his world, he would've done absolutely anything for them,” Gomez stated. “An amazing partner, father and friend.”
A fan of the English soccer club team Liverpool F.C. and American soccer team the LA Galaxy, Champion also liked to spend his time helping others, according to Gomez.
“We would volunteer our haircuts to the [MHA Village Long Beach] almost every month for the people in their programs, people who were homeless,” Gomez said. “He would take charge of that and organize it and volunteer his time."
"Anthony Champion served our members and our agency with his hands and his heart," read a Facebook post from MHA Village Long Beach. "His extreme talent for hair styling was only surpassed by his sweet spirit and generosity. Your work will live on in the lives of the people that you touched, Anthony."
Gomez said they also hosted an event for graduates of the Village, which describes itself as an adult integrated services recovery program of Mental Health America of Los Angeles.
“He was a part of everything,” Gomez added.
A memorial show and benefit is scheduled for July 31 at Alex’s Bar, located at 2913 East Anaheim Street in Long Beach, from noon to 7:00PM, according to Gomez.
The Martlet Tattoo Parlor, located at 5225 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, will donate money to Champion’s family from all flash tattoos done on Sunday, July 24 starting at noon.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Steve Fox of the Collision Investigation Detail at 562.570.7355. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous, may call 1.800.222.TIPS (8477), or text TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 (CRIMES), or visitwww.LACrimeStoppers.org.
Editor's note: This article originally had the date for the memorial show and benefit as July 30; the correct date is July 31.