Tuesday was going to be a big day for Michael Busque and his wife, Odeth.

After countless hours of preparation, all of which Busque logged in between two other jobs, the Readfield couple was ready for the grand opening of their new Thai restaurant in Wiscasset.

“He was pretty excited about it,” said Michael Busque’s son, Forest Busque, of Chelsea. “He and his wife had done a lot of the planning and preparation.”

But on Monday Odeth Busque’s plans were overturned, along with her life, when the motorcycle her husband was riding hit a garbage truck in the Androscoggin County town of Greene. Michael Busque, 59, died at the scene.

“I assume he was heading back to the restaurant,” Forest Busque said Tuesday.

The Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office continued to investigate the crash, which occurred shortly after noon Monday on U.S. Route 202 in Greene.

Investigators say Busque, riding a 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle, had just crossed the Lewiston city line heading east toward Augusta when he started to pass an Almighty Waste garbage truck in front of him. Busque made the pass just as the truck made a left turn into a cut-off between U.S. 202 and Daggett Hill Road. The truck and motorcycle collided.

The truck driver, Nathaniel Greenwood, 31, of Auburn, was not hurt.

Busque was not wearing a helmet, which had always been his habit, said his sister, Colette Woodcock of West Gardiner. Busque preferred to wear a bandanna, allowing the wind and freedom to hit him full in the face.

“He was a carefree spirit,” Woodcock said. “He loved being free. He never had a helmet — that was him.”

Busque was a boiler engineer, running the heating system in state-owned buildings and worked for a security company on the side, Forest Busque said. In between, he and Odeth Busque were working to open the Thai Golden restaurant in Wiscasset. Odeth Busque is originally from Laos.

Forest Busque said he spoke Tuesday to Odeth Busque and said she’s “doing OK.”

Michael Busque had two grown children — Forest Busque and his sister, Monique St. Pierre, of Belfast — and three teenage grandchildren.

Forest Busque said his father liked working out, fishing and hunting. He enjoyed being around his family.

“There was a lot of family stuff,” Forest Busque said. “He liked to be the center of attention. When he was around he liked to make his presence known. He was a very fun, outgoing, loving guy.”

Michael Busque had been riding motorcycles since his early 20s. His son and Woodcock both say their lasting memories of Michael Busque will be of him barreling down the road on his bike.

The weather was perfect Monday for one last ride.

“He was taken from us doing what he loved to do,” Forest Busque said. “He always loved riding his motorcycle.”

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