JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Loved ones of a Jacksonville man killed in a Thursday evening wreck may have foretold his demise in a candid conversation weeks ago about the dangers of riding a motorcycle.
On April 15, Vincenzo Contessa posted an image on Facebook of a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle he wanted. A family member chimed in, admonishing Contessa and asking about funeral arrangements.
To which he replied: "Buried. No transporting of my body. I don't want to be a freak accident and wake up to my ribs being snapped out of me during an autopsy or my blood being drained out of me..."
"Also just because I'd have a fast bike doesn't mean I'm going to die," added Contessa.
The back-and-forth carried on for hours. Neither Contessa nor any of his loved ones could have anticipated then that he would be killed in a collision with a sport-utility vehicle just 14 weeks later.
Contessa, 25, was riding south on Interstate 295 near the Buckman Bridge about 6:45 p.m. Thursday when another driver in an SUV made an illegal U-turn and cut him off, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The vehicles collided. Troopers said the SUV's driver and 9-year-old passenger escaped without serious injury.
Contessa, a self-described "super bike rider" who took life day by day, wasn't as fortunate. He was taken to Orange Park Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.
But as he told family during that Facebook exchange about his daredevil lifestyle: "At least I lived."