FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Carl Harz died in a crash Thursday morning at a busy Fort Wayne intersection. That’s where Carl Harz’s life ended, but NewsChannel 15 got to learn about what a full life that was.
Photos I Remembering Carl Harz
Tammy, Shawn, and Emily Atkinson are just a few of Harz’s family members. Several hours after Thursday’s crash, they came to the scene to remember and honor Carl Harz’s life. They also picked up the pieces of his motorcycle that were scattered across Jefferson Boulevard. Those are pieces the family said symbolize so much.
“Means I lost my friend, means I lost my friend, but it was an accident, and accidents happen. These represent that family was first, but riding was next. One minute he’s on his way to work on a beautiful sunny day, and the next minute he’s gone,” Shawn Atkinson said.
Harz worked as a radio technician for the city for 25 years, and also as a sergeant in the field services division for the sheriff’s department for the last six years. Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
“He was a great asset to the reserve organization and he will be greatly missed. I feel deeply saddened for the loss his family, friends, and coworkers are suffering.”
Harz had three children and seven grandchildren with one on the way.
“Excellent grandpa. Those kids love their grandpa, they love papa, good family man. He was a great dad, he was a great friend, great role model, and uncle. His kids were blessed by him. Family was important. Family comes first, and we try to teach that to our own children, but they got to see that growing up. They will tell you, that’s what they want for their life is for it to be like Lisa and Carl’s family,” Shawn, Tammy, and Emily Atkinson said.
Family members said Harz didn’t know a stranger.
“He knew everybody. He was well liked, well loved. Everybody in the community knows him. Anybody that knew Carl loved Carl. He was a great man. I learned a lot from him over the years. I did, I learned a lot from him. I know a lot of other people learned from him over the years . He was just that kind of guy. He changed a lot of people’s lives, not just ours. Everybody that knew him. Carl never ever was angry with anybody. He never was vengeful, vindictive, or I’ll get you. He was not that way. If somebody wronged him, he’d say ‘hey that’s just the way it is, let’s move on.’ You just have to have known him to really know what kind of guy he was. He was amazing. He’s going to be missed,” Shawn Atkinson said.
They also said Harz was quite the prankster, and was known for pulling jokes such as putting people’s shoes in the freezer at family gatherings.
“He was funny, you loved him and hated him at the same time because he was ornery,” Tammy Atkinson said.
Family members said Harz had been riding motorcycles since he was seven or eight years old. He would travel all over the country on motorcycle trips with his family and friends. He and his wife had just taken a 2800 mile trip this summer. The family said the bike in Thursday’s crash was new, and that Harz had only had it for about a month. The family called Harz a very safe and smart driver.
“Hands down the best rider I’d ever riden with in my whole life. There’s nothing to learn here as far as there is no drugs, no alcohol. He didn’t do any of that. He was a safe rider. It just happens. When it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go. I’m a firm believer that when it’s time for you to go, it’s time for you to go, and his number was up today, and God took him home,” Shawn Atkinson said.