Wayne Francis

SAN DIEGO – The mother of a Cape Cod fisherman killed in Carlsbad by a suspected drunken driver traveled to the West Coast this week to attend the driver’s arraignment and to then carry her son’s ashes back home. “I can’t tell you enough what a wonderful guy he was. He would give you his last dollar,” Frances Francis said of her son Wayne Francis, 42, who was struck while on a cross country motorcycle trip with lifelong friend Ernie Largey, both of Eastham, Mass. The men were stopped on their motorcycles at a traffic light on northbound Carlsbad Boulevard at Island Way when he was killed about 1:20 a.m. Oct. 10. The pair had just arrived in Southern California after traveling through Las Vegas and had earlier visited Oceanside before checking into a Carlsbad hotel and going to dinner. The men were sitting on their bikes commenting to each other about the weather on that balmy clear night when a black Mercedes appeared, Largey told his friend’s family. “All he heard was an explosion,” Francis said. Wayne Francis was struck from behind and thrown from his bike and died on the street. Largey told the family it appeared to him that the car was traveling at an excessive speed. He said there was no sign of braking. Carlsbad police arrested Keith Roles, 51, of Poway and charged him with vehicular manslaughter and felony driving under the influence. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon in Vista Superior Court. Francis was born and raised in Eastham, which is a small community on the tip of Cape Cod, and his family roots can be traced to the Mayflower, Francis said. A commercial fisherman, he skippered his father’s boats as well as others, and was well known as a chef. “He was a fabulous, fabulous cook,” his mother said. “I don’t know what we are going to do this Christmas dinner.” Francis and Largey had left on their trip Oct. 3 and had no particular itinerary. They stopped in small towns and local festivals and were just having a great time talking with and meeting people across the country, Francis said. Largey told his friend’s mother that they visited several places that Francis had seen while on a trip with his mother, brother and sister in the ’80s and had been recounting those days. She said it made her happy to think that her son had been thinking about her. Francis’ father, sister and brother have also come to the West Coast and the family hopes to retrace his steps and see where he was before he was killed. “We brought some sand from Cape Cod to sprinkle in the Pacific Ocean,” Francis said. Francis said the family will go home after Roles appears in court and will hold a memorial Oct. 25 in their town, which has a winter population of only about 3,000 people. They plan on returning, though, to be in court if Roles goes to trial. “We’ll be there for everything that happens,” she said.