In prison, Billy Lane fixes cars, teaches others

Bike builder in ‘motor pool,’ teaching others to weld


January 4, 2010 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Celebrity motorcycle builder Billy Lane hasn’t lost his passion nor shed his “gearhead” persona while serving time in the state penitentiary.

A state prison spokeswoman says Lane, serving six years for a 2006 car crash that killed another biker, has spent the last four months using his mechanical skills at the Avon Park Work Camp to fix Department of Corrections vehicles as part of the “motor pool.”

Lane, 39, was sentenced in August to prison after pleading no contest to one count of vehicular homicide for crashing his pickup truck head-on into 56-year-old Sebastian Inlet Park ranger Gerald Morelock’s motorcycle while speeding past slow traffic in a no-pass zone on Sept. 4, 2006.

“It looks like he’s using his skills to help the state of Florida,” said corrections spokeswoman Jo Ellyn Rackleff.

In the meantime, the Melbourne Beach founder of Choppers Inc. has resolved his other legal problems surrounding the crash.

Court records show a civil suit filed last year by Erin Derrick — the passenger in Lane’s truck the night of the Labor Day 2006 crash — seeking compensation for hospital bills and suffering related to back injuries was settled through mediation.

The suit also held liable DaimlerChrysler, which provided the promotional vehicle to Lane despite his prior driving history.

Derrick’s attorney, Martin T. Buckley of Orlando, declined to comment on the suit or its resolution. Lane’s attorney, G. Jeffrey Vernis of North Palm Beach, did not return a call seeking comment.

A wrongful death suit brought against Lane and DaimlerChrysler by crash victim Morelock’s family was settled out of court in July 2007 for an undisclosed amount.

Greg Eisenmenger, Lane’s attorney in the criminal case, said he visited the prison work camp around early October to discuss filing a motion seeking a reduced sentence for Lane, claiming Morelock’s family thought Lane could do more good outside of prison.

A judge denied the motion, and Eisenmenger said no more are planned.

Lane has tried to turn the experience into a positive by helping other inmates learn how to weld, according to Eisenmenger.

“He’s adjusting as best he can,” Eisenmenger said. “They are allowing him to work in the shop, help other people and make good use of his time, so I think that’s a positive.”

Corrections spokeswoman Rackleff said inmates are assigned to facilities and work based on extensive mental and physical screens during reception.

She said Lane was immediately assigned to the “motor pool,” where his skills could be used.

Working doesn’t automatically equal gain time, Rackleff said. Instead good behavior earns that, and working is part of it.

Lane, placed in a minimum custody setting, has not been the subject of any disciplinary action, Rackleff said.

Eisenmenger said Lane is still willing to comply with a request Morelock’s family voiced at sentencing asking Lane to use his celebrity status to help save the lives of young people through a foundation they plan to create in Morelock’s name.

“While in prison, he’s not in a position to do that,” Eisenmenger said. “But it’s still his plan when he gets out.”




  1. Hats off to billy for noticing his wrong and changing a negative into a positive.Billy lanes has been a admirror since i graduated Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Orlando,Fl. back in 1999.Hope to see you on the outside soon Billy?

  2. Hats off to Billy??? Really?? He was drunk and killed a guy! He is a repeat offender. Everybody finds repentance in prison, who cares if it’s all an act? The guy’s a jackwagon and deserves even more than he gets. Let him rot!

  3. Yes billy made a bad choice to drive that night, he is like most of us, making the wrong decision. Most people do it 2 to 3 times a week.Having a couplea beers So, we all have to take responsibility when it comes to drinking and driving. T
    he other guy was wrong too. Billy is a good guy and the guy that was in f-uped and in the lane of traffic was not suppose to be there. The road ws meant for vehicles and billy was not the first to come across his path. Billy was not drunk and was stunned to see a person in his path. He hit brakes and unfortunately this person was in the lane.

  4. billy next time come to massachusetts jesse estrada killed a whole family husband wife a brother and a sister out in eight and a half years buzzin downthe xway goin the wrong way for 10 miles first!.got headoned by a 2 time drunk driver myself hospital,home rest therapy every day still doctors weekly thank god the guy who almost killed me is just fine.its been since october im not fine nor will i ever be again. how many u got so far? 2?3?4? look after the first u cant say its an accident say i dont care! its more important for me to drive drunk than it was for that guy to a celebrity you know everyone loves me! mr lane,you havenone of my respect you could hav taken a limo and you have the money dontcha mr. discovery channel celeb?next dewey ya get billy boy do it up here in the bay state ,home of ted kennedy after probation theyll give you the key to the city!guys like me or that poor guy you gave a death sentence to ah hell our lives are worth less up here than they are in the sunshine state! location location location bring a warm coat see ya soon!

  5. Everyone makes mistakes…. No body has a right to judge anyone except the man upstairs!!! People aren’t bad cause they made a bad choice they are only ignorant if they don’t learn from the lesson it gave!!! Forgive and be happy spread the peace and luv that should be practiced as often as possible!!

  6. I don’t know Billy Lane. Never talked to him or even seen him in person. All I know of him is what I saw on tv. But I know there were many mistakes I have made over the years that could have ended up the way this did. For whatever reason, I think God was watching over me, I didn’t cause any harm to myself or anyone else. I really hope things work out for him. And I hope the family of Mr. Morelock can learn to live with the loss of him. After seeing Billy on tv and enjoying the show so much I really would like to meet him. Everyone involved in this are in my prayer’s.

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