WHITE HAVEN, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE 28/WYOU 22 EYEWITNESS NEWS) – Father’s Day is a celebratory time for many, but for one Luzerne County family, it’s a day of solemn remembrance.
The brigade of hot-rods and motorcycles started at the K-Mart parking lot in Wilkes-Barre. It’s all in memory of a car-loving boy from White Haven, gone too soon.
“He’d be so happy with this turnout today. I mean, he loved cars, he loved it all. He’d be in his glory for sure,” Christian’s mother Alanna Senchak said.
Dozens of family members, friends and community car enthusiasts drove through Luzerne County on Sunday.
The second-annual ride commemorates the life of 12-year-old Christian Senchak.
On May 31, 2019, he was involved in a crash while riding his bicycle in White Haven, having graduated from sixth grade at Fair View Elementary just a few hours earlier.
“I was okay on the way down here, and like I looked up in the mirror and saw the amount of cars behind me. The overwhelming amount of support we’ve had, from day one. I mean the last two years have undeniably been the hardest years of my life but there has been a ton of support and I am so grateful for it,” Christian’s father Steve Krawcuk said.
The drivers stopped by the site of the crash, near the intersection of Buffalo and Laurel Streets.
Christian’s parents, Alanna Senchak and Steve Krawczuk, say he was a beloved son and big brother to his siblings.
Today, ‘Cruise for Christian’ is a celebration of all his favorite things.
“Christian was a gearhead, absolutely through and through, followed in his father’s footsteps. He was a gearhead, loves cars, loves motorcycles, loves anything that has to do with a motor. And he was just such a free, caring spirit,” family friend Dustin Ciampi said.
“We’d be driving, and he’d see a fast car, and be like, oh mommy, I’m going to buy that car one day. And I’m like okay, it’s a Lamborghini, you got it bud, you got it,” Senchak said.
Senchak says Christian was not wearing a helmet when his bike crashed that day. They encourage kids, adults and motorists to be proactive about bicycle safety.
“I don’t care how uncool it seems, just put the helmet on. Because it really could save your life one day. Accidents do happen, like he wasn’t doing anything wrong. He was being a kid, riding his bike, and he’s not here anymore,” Krawczuk said.
Christian’s parents say they hope to start a charitable foundation in his honor, and construct a permanent memorial where he spent most of his life, in White Haven.
‘Cruise for Christian’ is held each year in June. Anyone can participate.