Stephen Elicker had talent.
"He was always artistic, always drawing or doing something with art," said his mother, Barb Nicholas. "He liked to tattoo his friends and he was very good at it."
Elicker, 29, of Thomasville, was killed early Sunday morning while riding his motorcycle on Route 30 in West Hempfield Township, according to Lancaster County Coroner Stephen Diamantoni, who said Elicker suffered multiple traumatic injuries.
Elicker and Jarod Counts, 26, of Seven Valleys, were riding their motorcycles westbound on Route 30 and were coming up on the Malleable Road overpass at 2:12 a.m. Sunday when they were struck from behind by a Hyundai Elantra driven by Joel A. Newcomer, 31, of Dover, according to West Hempfield Township Police.
The Hyundai flipped onto its roof, police said.
A Nissan Murano SUV driven by Hung D. Tran, 52, of York, then crashed into the Hyundai and one of the motorcycles, according to police.
Badly hurt: Counts was seriously injured in the crash, Diamantoni has said.
Counts was in critical condition Monday afternoon at Lancaster General Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Newcomer was in satisfactory condition Monday afternoon at York Hospital, a hospital spokesman said. Tran escaped injury, police said.
Elicker, Counts and a third friend were on their way back home from Berks County, where they had gone to pick out a campsite for next weekend, Nicholas said.
West Hempfield Township Police Chief Mark Pugliese said the third man also was on a motorcycle, but was in front of Elicker and Counts and was not involved in the crash.
Although everyone involved was from York County, Newcomer and Tran were not with the motorcyclists, according to the chief, who said the crash remains under investigation.
Family affair: A year or so ago, Elicker began working for his mom at Barb & Christi's, an antique/vintage furniture store that also sells crafty decorations.
And prior to the store's recent move to 5234 Lincoln Highway West in Paradise Township, Elicker redid the entire building, Nicholas said.
"My son remodeled from top to bottom for me," she said. "When we first moved here he looked at the building and said, 'Well Mom, if you want to do this, I can make it happen.' ... He pulled the ceilings out, he painted, he fixed everything, and we put new floors in."
Elicker helped his mother make items to sell as well.
"He was really proud of his work ... and he was very, very good at what he was doing," she said, including refurbishing furniture and making benches, cabinets and seasonal decorations from old salvaged wood.
Raising money: Nicholas said all proceeds from store sales this Thursday and Friday will be used to help pay for Elicker's funeral services.
Elicker leaves behind his companion of 14 years, Melissa Stough, and their 9-year-old son, Gage, according to Nicholas.
It was difficult for Elicker to hold down a full-time job because he helped care for Gage, who is disabled, Nicholas said.
"He loved Gage tremendously and he was a good dad," she said.
Elicker, who attended Spring Grove Area High School, also loved hiking, fishing and riding his motorcycle, according to his mother.
Outgoing: "He was very outgoing," she said. "Everybody loved him. Even the bus drivers who pick Gage up for school in the morning are broken up about this."
Nicholas said she and Elicker were always close.
"He's my youngest," she said.
Elicker's surivors also include his father, Michael Elicker of New Salem; and his sister, Aren Himes of Dover.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.