WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s been three months since Wayne Kemp, a well-known Wichita biker, tragically lost his life on a highway on-ramp after his tires connected with an unavoidable oil spill. His girlfriend and love of his life, Lacey Lewis, was riding passenger.
“I’m just waiting for him to walk through the door still…for us to be pretty much inseparable then for him to pretty much be gone,” Lewis said.
Lewis endured brain trauma, facial paralysis, a split collar bone and will likely undergo multiple surgeries. Nothing, she said, compares to the pain of losing Kemp.
“He was just an honest and decent, a good man…they broke the mold when they made him,” Lewis said.
Friends and family describe Kemp and Lewis’ connection a “once in a lifetime kind of love”, Lewis adds they were inseparable. Kemp’s other love was motorcycles, beginning when he was a child and his grandfather owned Newton Cycle and Leather, a Newton motorcycle shop. Lewis said Wayne told of a story when customers would come into his grandfather’s shop and he would hide in the back because normally 13-year-olds don’t work on bicycles. Kemp’s passion for both motorcycles and Lewis ran deep. They both worked at Biker’s Edge of Wichita on Central.
In fact, they were heading to work on the morning of August 5 on a 2016 Victory motorcycle, with Kemp driving and Lewis riding passenger, just as they always did. Kemp, a skilled rider, encountered an “unavoidable oil spill” according to Kansas Highway Patrol crash reports on the northbound on-ramp to I-135 at Hydraulic. The slick oil on the tires caused Wayne to lose control and crash. Kemp died that day, Lewis stayed asleep due to brain trauma. She was told she repeatedly asked for her purse, her phone and Wayne before falling back asleep only to do it over and over.
“I don’t know what to do without him,” Lewis said.
However, Kemp’s legacy lives on. The upcoming Newton Toy Run now bears his name and is set to break records for participation and donations. It’s of no surprise to Lewis, who can fairly credit other’s love and respect for Kemp.
“I just love him so much and the fact he can make this much of an impact even when he’s not here is amazing,” Lewis said.
But the family still wants answers. They’re asking anyone who knows anything about the oil spill in early August to contact authorities. They’ve learned in the past three months that it was likely a diesel spill due to the volume and way it spread over the on-ramp.
“I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anybody and I don’t want it to happen to somebody else,” Lewis said.