Megan Rachelle Daymude, 19, had a passion for racing.
Mark Brandon Stephens, 23, served in the military for five years and had been recognized for his marksmanship.
Together, the Berkeley County, W.Va., couple started a family and were engaged to be married. Together, they spent their last moments alive Saturday before a crash involving the motorcycle they were riding resulted in their deaths.
And now, together, they will be remembered in a joint funeral service at 11 a.m. Thursday at Shenandoah Bible Baptist Church north of Martinsburg, according to their obituaries.
Daymude, of Inwood, W.Va., aspired to become a Top Fuel pro driver in drag racing.
Her fiancé, whose military service included deployment to Afghanistan in 2009, supported Daymude’s dream and took responsibility for ensuring her safety at every race.
Stephens had taken “a huge interest” in Daymude’s racing during their relationship, adding it to his love of baseball, motorcycles and target shooting.
In the Army, Stephens was recognized for his marksmanship. He received the commendation medal and achievement medal, among several recognitions, according to his obituary.
Daymude’s interest in racing followed two generations before her. She was following in her father and “pappy’s” footsteps. The 2011 Musselman High School graduate worked alongside her father in the family business, M&S Equipment Services in Inwood.
Daymude received her first race car on her 16th birthday. Since the start of her racing career, she was recognized for achieving high speeds on the drag strip, her fastest — 225 mph in 6.15 seconds — coming earlier this spring at a drag strip in North Carolina.
At the track, she was given the nickname “Barbie.”
Daymude never met a stranger and was dearly loved by all who knew her, according to loved ones.
Stephens was described in his obituary as a very passionate young man who always was eager to lend a helping hand to anyone.
Employed as a guard for G4S Wackenhut, a security solutions company, Stephens was proud of his family.
He had a son, Parker Scott Stephens, with Daymude, and a daughter, Madalynn Rose Stephens, 4, from a previous relationship.
Accounts have been established at the Hedgesville branch of BB&T bank for the couple’s son and at United Bank’s Spring Mills, W.Va., office for his daughter, bank officials confirmed Tuesday.
Stephens’ father, Mark D. Stephens, who was seriously injured in the same crash as his son, was still being treated Tuesday afternoon at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he was listed in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The accident occurred on Interstate 70 in the Indian Springs area when about 20 motorcycles were riding in a group. According to Maryland State Police, a 2008 Harley-Davidson operated by Matthew L. Adams, 42, of Martinsburg, W.Va., slowed down and was struck by Mark D. Stephens’ motorcycle from behind.
Mark D. Stephens’ motorcycle then struck a motorcycle operated by his son, officials said.
Stephens’ son also was taken to the shock trauma center, where he died, officials said.
Daymude, who was a passenger on the motorcycle operated by her fiancé, died at the scene of the crash, which occurred at about 12:40 p.m., officials said.
Eastbound lanes of I-70 were closed about four hours after the accident.