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Knowing that Burkitt and other young members will defend the brotherhood, which older members have fought for, Moose says he can die easy.
He has spent time with Burkitt on various trips through town in the past year. "He's impressed me quite a bit from what I've met of him and know of him," Moose says. "He wants to be part of the group, and he's not going to be deterred from it. And he's a person I wouldn't mind leaving in my will, you see."
If the young rider doesn't kill himself first.
On Thursday, May 19, a week before the Memorial Day run, Burkitt was visiting Dresser's home on East Seventh Street off Independence Avenue, where the old man lay dying of cancer. Burkitt says they spent most of the time watching television and talking about all the things Dresser had done in his life. Burkitt was proud to tell Dresser that he had just finished work on his chopper.
Afterward, Burkitt straddled his chopper and headed downtown. He wanted to make a quick stop at the clubhouse before heading home to his trailer park in Harrisonville.
Riding west on Ninth Street, Burkitt was passing under a green light at Van Brunt when he heard the sirens -- a firetruck flying toward him.
He locked up his brakes and slid into the rear of the fire engine.
"When I was sitting there on the concrete, after I stopped sliding, I tried to get up," Burkitt says. "My leg was flopping, and I could tell it was broken. So I went to grab my leg, and something hit me in the back of my head. I looked back, and my arm is just flopping back there." In addition to breaking his leg, he had dislocated his shoulder and elbow.
Rescue workers started yelling that he was dying. "They kept screaming that I didn't have a pulse. I kept telling them, 'I got a pulse. I'm all right,'" Burkitt says.
He spent five days recovering at Truman Medical Center, constantly surrounded by brothers.
Moose told the Pitch he was relieved that the young prospect wasn't hurt worse. Moose has buried friends over the years because of bike wrecks. Burkitt would have been a terrible loss, he said.
After he was discharged from Truman, Burkitt rested in a hospital bed set up in his living room. He told the Pitch that police still had his chopper because investigators needed it for their crash analysis. He also contended that rescue workers had somehow misplaced his cell phone and between $450 and $500 cash -- pay from work and the sale of two motorcycle tires to a friend.
Officers told him they would run toxicology tests to see whether he was riding while impaired that evening, and the bike had to remain impounded until then. Burkitt says he was dead sober -- he's not even old enough to drink yet, and he says he doesn't do drugs and has never even smoked a cigarette. "Why do they have to hold my bike?" he asks.
Burkitt's father says he saw the kid's chopper thrown on its side in the impound, its custom-made parts strewn about. The seat alone -- saddle-stitched with flames painted onto the fabric and "Fuck the World" stamped on its back -- cost $500. Burkitt had just bought a new set of pipes for more than $400. He's worried the parts might get lost or stolen.