SUV driver and two motorcycle riders killed in collision on Dundas Street

Mitch Crate was just 10 minutes from his Waterdown home when his motorcycle collided with an SUV Saturday night, killing Crate and his girlfriend Arlette Shamoun.

Also dead is the male driver of the SUV, who has not yet been identified by Halton Police.

Halton Police said the preliminary investigation indicates the motorcycle was traveling eastbound on Dundas Street and the SUV was westbound on Dundas, turning left onto Eaglesfield Drive around 6:10 p.m.

Both vehicles caught fire after the collision.

Crate’s best friend, Alexander Johnson, said it was Crate’s first ride of the season.

Johnson had been talking to Crate on Friday night, and knew Crate was tuning up the bike, which he stored in his kitchen during the winter.

“Once he starts cleaning the bike, then he starts starting the bike, then once he starts starting it, you know, time to get a quick rip in,” said Johnson, 35, who first met Crate when Johnson was 18. They bonded talking about cars and bikes.

He said Crate, 43, and Shamoun, who was in her mid-30s, met three years ago and became inseperable.

“It was them against the world, you know?” said Johnson, who found out about Crate’s death just as he was about to get on his own bike Saturday night.

When he found out, he said he was in no condition to ride.

“Maverick has just lost his Goose,” Johnson said, in reference to the movie “Top Gun.”

According to Johnson, Shamoun worked as a stylist at a salon. Crate was a truck driver for Valvoline. Bikes were something he had pursued as a hobby since getting into dirt biking at the age of six.

Crate stepped away from biking for about a decade after one was stolen from his driveway, but Johnson said he got back into it when fuel costs made his car too expensive.

Johnson said the entire biker community will feel the loss of Crate. He said there must be hundreds of riders who have had “The Mitch Special” — the $100 tune-up Crate offered out of his meticulously-maintained garage.

“He was a man’s man,” said Johnson. “He was one of those guys that all the other guys wanted to be. Everybody looked up to Mitch.”

He said Crate was known for giving sound advice, and for refusing to put junky components on a bike. Johnson said he’d sooner break a part in front of you than install it when he thought it might fail and cause an accident.

“He was everyone’s surrogate dad.”

Crate had recently sourced and bought a dirtbike for Shamoun. They were building up to her own road bike so they could ride together.

Johnson said Shamoun had moved from Kitchener to live with Crate in Waterdown. He called her warm and caring, with an infectious laugh.

“You walked into the room and if she’s laughing, you’re laughing,” he said, noting that sometimes, she would laugh so hard at something, it would take four or five attempts to explain it.

“Arly was a big-time sweetheart,” he said. “I’d only known her for a year, but I’m never going to forget her.”

In the future, Johnson hopes to organize a memorial ride for the pair. He said so many bikers know Crate as the only one who would arrive on time for a group ride, then hassle the latecomers. Johnson said he knows the biker community would want to pay their respects to the couple.

“They loved being on that bike and being on it together,” said Johnson. “I guess if they had to pick a way to go, and it was quick and painless, that’s what they’d choose. Not for another 34 years though.”

Any witnesses to Saturday night’s crash are asked to call 905- 825-4747 ext. 2305.

Source: The Hamilton Spectator