Marine killed in crash with SUV had a passion for motorcycles


POSTED: Friday, March 05, 2010

Marine Sgt. Ismael Rentas Jr. had wanted to ride motorcycles since high school and eventually helped start a motorcycle club on Oahu.

Rentas, 24, died Saturday morning in a motorcycle crash on H-1 freeway.

“;He loved riding motorcycles,”; his mother, Esther Rentas-Valenzuela, 45, said by phone from her Boynton Beach, Fla., home.

; Police said Rentas was speeding when he rear-ended an SUV on the H-1 at about 4:20 a.m. Saturday and was thrown from his 2009 Suzuki GSX-R600. He was wearing a helmet and died at the scene.

“;It surprised me because he's not the type of person that would speed,”; said Joy Alimbuyao, business manager of the Legion Motorcycle Club, of which Rentas was a member.

He was one of nine founding members and the club's Hawaii Chapter recruiting officer. The club began on Oahu last year and now has a chapter in Washington state.

Alimbuyao said Rentas took the motorcycle safety course at Leeward Community College and sometimes would stay at the back of the pack during rides.

“;Nobody knows what really happened,”; she said.

Rentas, known to make friends easily, spoke with Alimbuyao every day: “;He's like a brother to me. He was everyone's best friend.”;

Rentas enlisted with the Marines after graduating from Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach, Fla., in 2003, his mother said.

Rentas-Valenzuela said the Marines visited her to notify her about her son's death.

“;He was proud to be a Marine,”; she said, adding that the job had taken him around the world.

Rentas was assigned to the Headquarters and Service Battalion at Camp Smith. His first post was in Hawaii.

“;He had charm,”; she said. “;Everywhere he went, he touched a lot of people's hearts. I'll miss him.”;

Services will be next Friday in Royal Palm Beach, Fla. Friends can request a link to view a private webcast of the funeral by sending an e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).