It was too nice of a day not to go for a ride.
That was the last sentiment that Christian Gandy told his wife, Jamie, before he was killed Tuesday when his motorcycle hit a deer that was crossing Old Waynesboro Road near the Burke County line. The Richmond County sheriff’s investigator was off-duty at the time.
His stepfather, Pete Lamb, said riding the motorcycle was one of many ways that Gandy relieved stress.
“He truly loved riding motorcycles,” Lamb said Wednesday. “He was always responsible, and every indication from the facts of the crash showed that there was nothing he did to contribute to it.”
As news of his crash spread Tuesday afternoon it not only devastated his family but also broke the hearts of many friends and co-workers whom Gandy touched with his “humorous,” “kind” and “dorky” personality.
Most who worked with Gandy, a former member of the Coast Guard, said he was committed to his profession. Shortly after his recent promotion to the department’s criminal investigation division, he began working with District Attorney Natalie Paine.
Paine, who worked with Gandy on his first murder case, said he was “always dependable.”
“He showed up at a scene and he would always find me and give me the rundown of everything that was going on,” she said Wednesday. “His enthusiasm and his passion for the job was contagious. He was an incredible investigator who is going to be missed.”
His best friend, Cameron Hampton, echoed similar sentiments. They worked side by side at the sheriff’s office after Gandy was hired in 2011. They remained inseparable even after Hampton accepted a job with the criminal investigation division at the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.
“I basically lived here more than I lived at my place,” Hampton said during a visit to Gandy’s home Thursday. “I was there when Noah (his 4-year-old son, and Allie, his 8-year-old daughter) was born, we built computers and saltwater aquariums together and we rode motorcycles like it was a religion.”
With the loss of his best friend, however, Hampton said he is unsure whether he will ever ride again
“That’s how hard it hits,” Hampton said. “He was perfect. He was my brother and very close to me, and I don’t think I’ll have another friend like him. He can’t be replaced. “
A celebration of life service for Gandy will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Thomas L. King Funeral Home at 124 Davis Road in Martinez. The family would like for those who plan to attend to come dressed in blue, Gandy’s favorite color. They ask that no one wear black clothing.