FRIENDSHIP, Wis. (WFRV) – Bonnie Fink and her daughter Leah stood on the curb at the intersection of Van Dyne Road and Subway Road in the Town of Friendship.
“Trying to understand what happened,” Bonnie said. “And looking for something to salvage.”
Her sister, Pamela, and Pamela’s husband were killed in a motorcycle accident there Friday evening.
“It’s senseless, to the fact of [the] inattentiveness of someone, that they could have if they were just paying attention, that these two beautiful people would still be here,” she said.
According to the Fond du Lac Sheriff’s Office, a 17-year-old woman blew through a stop sign, and the Delaps hit the vehicle on their motorcycle. Paul died at the scene, and Pamela died after being airlifted to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center.
“We have to focus on the road,” Bonnie said. “We have to pay attention to our community and what’s around us. Stop and look left, look right, look for motorcycles, look for kids, look for people on bikes, look for cars.”
The only thing that Bonnie salvaged was a washer, the rest of the wreck had been cleared away. All that was left at the scene was powder to clean up the gasoline, orange lines spray painted by the investigators, and a memorial of flowers and photos decorating the stop sign.
“Driving is so serious, it’s two lives that are gone,” Bonnie said. “I forgive this person, but it’s still senseless, and we’re trying to figure it out.”
Motorcycling was a favorite hobby of Paul and Pam’s.
“When they were together on their motorcycle, it was like they left everything behind and just enjoyed motorcycling and the freedom and the air and just to get away from the stresses and just be with each other.”
Paul, 58 years old, was a highway foreman and worked with Winnebago County for three decades.
“His dedication to how he handled his crew to how he treated new people on the job” is what Winnebago County Executive Jon Doemel said he will remember most about having Paul on his staff.
Pam, 56 years old, was a financial advisor and also spent much of her time volunteering and helping create an accessible playground in Oshkosh for kids with disabilities.
As committed as they were to their community, Paul and Pam always put family first for their three children, five grandkids, and extended family, going on camping trips and hosting barbecues.
“He was the griller of our family, he did all the grilling on the Fourth of July,” Bonnie said. “For the Fourth of July and Christmas, she’d always go overboard. She loves parties. She was a party person.”
“She was just fun, lighthearted, lived for life like life’s too short,” she said.
Bonnie says that no one could outdo Pam at arts and crafts.
“She was my craft buddy. We sewed together. We made cards together. Her craft room is like the Hilton.”
Bonnie is the one who introduced Pam and Paul in their youth.
“At the YMCA,” she said. “I was friends with Paul before Pam, and that’s how they kind of met.”
For as much fun as Paul and Pam were, they were also there for others in times of need.
“If you needed help with your car, he would be there to help,” Bonnie said. “My one sister was dying of cancer, and she stayed by her side until the day she died. She was just right there for her and my mom.”
Bonnie has already forgiven the driver for the tragedy and knows that she is not the only one.
“Pam’s spirituality rose above anger and things like that, so I know that she’s forgiving of this accident. I know she is.”