He pleaded with his brother not to get a new motorcycle, just before Gerald Stockton lost control, traveling at a high rate of speed as dusk fell Thursday.

The 30-year-old father was a single parent, caring for four children between the ages of five and 11. Witnesses on Route 5 saw his Honda CRB1000 spin three times mid-air, moments after the fatal collision.

The father would never return home.

In a series of interviews Sunday, family and friends who returned to the crash site said they didn't understand why Stockton chose to push his bike to the limit, disregarding a dire warning from his brother.

"I told him, begged him, not to buy the bike, but he did it anyway," David Mumford said at a vigil Sunday evening. "It was too dangerous. That's what makes this so hard now."

Mourners parked their cars along the median of Route 5 at Moores Road, placing a white cross with roses near the point of impact. Motorcycles spun out tires along the roadway, sending smoke into the air as a tribute to a fellow biker.

"It's hard to hear those sounds now," Mumford said. "It makes it too real."

The crash happened Thursday around 8:40 p.m., with Maryland State Police shutting down the intersection for two hours to clear shattered bike fragments.

Family members carrying candles said they would care for Stockton's four children, one of whom will turn nine years old in two weeks.

"Listen, this is the moral of the story, y'all on these bikes, y'all on these motorcycles, please be safe," Mumford said. "Slow down. It's not worth losing your brother. It's not worth losing your nephew. A father, a son, a cousin, a best friend. It's not worth it."