As you can see in this Facebook photo, shot during the Offspring's set at Fiddler's Green in August, Ray J. Roberts had a rock-and-roll heart. Those he left behind are celebrating this quality in their remembrances of Roberts, who died on Sunday in a scooter crash initially thought to have been a hit-and-run. Photos and details below.
Roberts (no relation) clearly had an infectious sense of humor. Note that the education line in the "About" section of his Facebook page reveals that he "Studied (Not Really) at the University of Oklahoma."
Unfortunately, things turned tragic on Sunday evening, for reasons noted in this Denver Police Department tweet:
#TRAFFIC:( 1/2) H&R Auto vs Scooter accident at E 46th Ave & York St one party pronounced on scene. Avoid area-
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) October 13, 2014
A followup DPD tweet issued less than an hour later revealed that "the accident at 46th & York St is no longer considered a Hit & Run." A report issued yesterday by the Denver coroner's office concurs. After identifying Roberts as the victim, the release notes that the 48-year-old died of blunt-force trauma in a "single vehicle motor scooter crash."
Around the time this news was made public, Roberts's sister shared the following photo on his Facebook page....
...along with a note that reads: "I am a private person and don't like publicly posting about my family, but this is going to be the easiest way for me to contact a lot of people that I need to share this news with. My brother was killed last night in Colorado. He was on his scooter and had a bad accident and did not survive. Rest in peace lil' brother." It's an indication of how beloved Roberts was that his sisters' post received more than 200 comments and inspired items like this one:
One of the most caring and giving human beings who I considered a great friend died in a scooter accident in the town he lived which is Denver. Everytime I saw him he would give me the biggest hugs and talked about me and everyone else in the room because he was truly interested in our lives. He didn't talk about himself because he was just like that and that's why I love him. Very sad because I will miss him but for selfish reasons I was going to Denver in the next month and I'm sure Ray J. Ray J Roberts would have made it epic as only he can. Love you Ray.
There's also this vivid remembrance from a friend in France:
Ray J Roberts was a cool dude. Boomer! our catcher, Big Black Cadillac driver, partier, bass playin' fedora wearing, rock N roller by 14. secret sidewalk, Whittier, West, Lunch was cruising 151 and Orange drinks w 12 Mickie D cheeseburgers, Happy Hours, Denver, Two Tone, Big Man with a big heart. Hanging with Kat. Way too soon, but out in Rock Star style, like Neil Young says Better to burn out than to fade away. Nah nah nah. Peace and RIP Ray John. Wish I had seen you more lately. You lived it hard Boomer! Lived it hard.
Our condolences to Roberts' friends, family and loved ones. Rock on, Ray.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.