NEW MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – It was May 1 of this year when Brandon Forlastro of New Milford took his motorcycle for a ride to meet his friends for a birthday breakfast.

He turned 22 that day.

“A truck turned west and broke the double yellow lines right in front of him, leaving him no chance to do anything but crash into the side, killing him instantly and crippling his girlfriend,” said Jeffrey Forlastro, Brandon’s father.

The same day Brandon’s loved ones were celebrating him, became the same day they mourned his death.

“We received a plethora of support and love and respect from not only family and friends but strangers and it really touched us,” Jeffrey added.

In his words, “action doesn’t wait.”

Mr. and Mrs. Forlastro founded Gears in Heaven after their son who loved all things cars, motorcycles, and bikes.

Now, they and their volunteers are offering a plethora of support for others who lost a loved one tragically. Especially when it’s in a motor vehicle accident or a motorcycle accident because those tragedies are never planned.

Support can be something as basic as sending a sympathy card, or helping out with household chores for families that are going through the grieving process. Other things include how to put together a memorial ceremony, how to get in contact with the newspaper to run the obituary, or how to deal with any of the legal aspects.

This is just the beginning for the new nonprofit, the Forlastros said they have big plans on how to continue honoring their son while helping others.

If you’d like to volunteer with Gears in Heaven or use their services visit or