Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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September 18, 2012

Benefit held for accident victims’ family

PLAINFIELD —  

Family and friends of James “Matthew” Sneed will be holding a Celebration of Life and a benefit to honor his memory from 3 to 8 p.m. Oct. 6 at Five Star Catering at Primo West in Plainfield.

Sneed was killed in a motorcycle accident on May 5. He left behind two sons and a fiancé, as well as other family members and friends.

The celebration will be held on what would have been his 34th birthday. Sneed had worked as a foreman at Brown’s Construction Company for many years.

Family friend Gretchen Nichols of Plainfield said she felt called to hold the event to help the family with funeral costs and other bills.

“God just told me he wanted me to do this,” Nichols said. “I was good friends with Matthew’s sister when we were younger. I only knew Matthew as a teenager, not as an adult.”

She said she called Heather Briggeman, Matthew’s sister, and asked permission to hold a benefit.

“She asked the family and they said yes,” she said. “I feel like I’ve really gotten to know him through them during this process.”

Nichols has been spending time with the family who is also helping to organize the event with the help of another friend, Callie Enright, also a PHS graduate.

His mother, Debbie Sneed, said the pain of losing her son is still very difficult. She and her husband, Gary Sneed, live in Avon. They had lived in the Camby/Plainfield area for more than 20 years.

“He had been riding with friends and was on his way home, getting on I-70,” she explained. “He ran into the back of a tanker truck. His body fell there, but his motorcycle was thrown the length of a football field.”

She said a couple stopped to help direct traffic and the woman is a nurse, so she helped keep him alive until first responders arrived.

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