Sweethearts Who Were About to Get Engaged Die in Tragic Motorcycle Crash: They Were 'Infatuated,' Family Says

The couple had been together for years: 'She was his queen'

<p>Jami Rosario/GoFundMe</p> Sam Cullen, left, and Suzie Kedar, right

Jami Rosario/GoFundMe

Sam Cullen, left, and Suzie Kedar, right

An active-duty Navy man and his longtime girlfriend died in a motorcycle crash earlier this month, weeks before they were expected to get engaged.

Family members identified the couple as 28-year-old Sam Cullen and 27-year-old Suzie Kedar.

They were riding a black 2008 Harley-Davidson FX motorcycle on Whidbey Island in Washington state on Thursday, May 2, when the bike struck a pole around 8 p.m., Island County sheriff’s detective Ed Wallace said, according to Newsday.

Both Cullen and Kedar were wearing helmets when the crash occurred, Newsday reported.

Wallace tells PEOPLE that “we do not suspect drugs or alcohol were involved."

He says that preliminary information, pending a final determination, indicated only that the motorcycle left the roadway and hit a pole.

Cullen’s cousin Haley Tynes says, based on what she was told by authorities, that the couple swerved to avoid animals in the road while they were heading to Ebey's Landing, a local nature preserve, to watch the sunset.

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Cullen died at the scene and Kedar died soon after at a local hospital, Wallace says.

"I know that Sam treated Suzie like his queen," Cullen's mother, Shari, told Patch.com. "She was his queen."

Cullen was stationed on the island as a Navy petty officer 2nd class, family said in a GoFundMe campaign. He and Kedar met while attending Farmingdale High School in New York and they grew closer in the decade since graduating in 2014, dating for much of that time, Tynes says.

Cullen was planning to soon ask Kedar for her hand in marriage, News 12 Long Island reported. He sent a photo of the ring to his mother within a week of the crash.

He intended to pop the question on June 1. Tynes says he wanted to do it in the Seattle area, either at a local park or the Lake Washington waterfront.

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The U.S. Navy helped transport Cullen’s body back to New York, according to News 12 Long Island. Meanwhile, family members, friends and more raised money via GoFundMe to help bring Kedar home and pay for funeral expenses.

More than $54,000 has been donated so far, and Tynes says the local community in Washington rallied around her and Kedar's families to help them through the aftermath of the crash, including by giving money and helping look after the couple's pets.

Kedar's employer, Whidbey Coffee, gave a day of sales proceeds as well, Tynes says.

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The family's GoFundMe likewise expressed gratitude for the support, stating in part: "All the shared memories [and] prayers sent from around the world has touched them deeply and is helping them more than you can imagine."

A viewing was held Friday in Levittown, N.Y., according to the GoFundMe campaign. A funeral service was held the following day. Future memorials are also planned, Cullen's family says.

“The way they looked at each other, you could tell they felt infatuated and were in love with each other,” Kedar’s sister, Shivani Varickamackal, told Newsday.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated for clarity with additional information from Sam Cullen’s family and law enforcement and to correct certain details about Cullen's life and the crash.

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