Requiescant in pace – May 2010

I subscribed to Google news with certain key words, like “Harley-Davidson” and “Road King”, and first I was quite shocked to get on a daily basis email notifications of a fellow Harley driver who died in a accident. These feeds are mainly limited to events in the US.

I think that in some cases one can learn from these tragic events, and I want to continue to produce this compilation, mentioning the fellow divers and passengers killed while doing what they most enjoyed.

Please drive safely and wear a helmet!


1.5. A motorcyclist died Saturday morning after his bike hit a car. The crash happened on the I-77 ramp to the Brookshire Freeway. Police say 52-year-old Johnny Cranor lost control of his 2005 Harley Davidson after he ran into a car that was stopped because of a lane closure relating to a work zone.

1.5. A couple from Kensington were killed Saturday afternoon when their Harley Davidson motorcycle traveled off the side of Route 341 in Kent and flipped in a bed of traprock. Both the driver, Mark Fongemie, 55, and the passenger, Linda Fongemie, were ejected, sustaining serious head injuries, State Police said. Neither were wearing helmets, police reported.

6.5. The Harley-Davidson rider killed in a crash at Highway 41 and Avenue 15 in Madera County has been identified as 56-year-old Gary Stephen Mederios of Ranchos Santa Margarita, CA.

6.5. A Coal County man died after crashing a motorcycle Tuesday. William Paul Horn, 64, Lehigh, was driving a 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle east on State Highway 3 in Lehigh when he “lost control for unknown reasons and laid the bike on its left side”

9.5. Thomas Bronson, 63, of Dillon Beach, was riding a 2007 Harley-Davidson motorcycle on Pepper Road east of Meacham Road just after 9 p.m. when he lost control of the motorcycle on a slight lefthand bend in the road, spun out and struck a utility pole

9.5. A motorcyclist died early Sunday after he crashed into a guardrail in northeast Harris County. Samuel Moreno, 38, was riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle south in the 19700 block of FM 21000 around 2 a.m. when he failed to drive in one lane. The motorcycle then crossed the shoulder and struck a metal guardrail on the west side of the road.

11.5. A woman injured in a motorcycle crash Saturday has died. Tucson police said Mary Dileo, 62, was airlifted to University Medical Center in critical condition. She died Monday morning of her injuries. Detectives have determined that Mrs. Dileo was a passenger in a 2002 Harley Davidson, which was being driven by a  52 year-old friend. Mrs. Dileo was not wearing a helmet and sustained serious head injuries.

14.5. Whitney D. Buchholz, 34, of Lexington, Neb., was a passenger on a 1993 Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Patrick A. Lange, 30, of Cozad, Neb. Lange lost control of the motorcycle, which rolled on its side, throwing both passengers. Buchholz died en route to a Pierre hospital. Neither rider was wearing a helmet.

16.5. Stephen M. Heyser, 55, of Hawthorne – was riding a 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle on Northeast 127th Street Road at about 6 p.m. when he lost control and struck survey and U.S. Forestry markers on the west side of Northeast 203rd Avenue Road. Heyser was flown to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he was pronounced dead.

16.5. A 35-year-old Cumru Township woman, preparing for her first excursion on a brand-new 2010 Harley Davidson, was killed Sunday morning when she lost control of the motorcycle while pulling out of her driveway, authorities said. Denise L. Martin of White Pine Gulch was pronounced dead by doctors in Reading Hospital at 9:32 a.m., officials said.

17.5. A Stillman Valley man was killed early Monday morning when he hit a deer with his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The Ogle County Sheriff’s Department says John Thomas, Jr. , 41, was going west on Holcomb Road when he hit a deer that ran in front of him near Armour Road. Thomas Jr. was thrown off the bike and died at the scene.

18.5. Brian Scott Ecker, 45, of Barrens Road North in Hopewell Township, was rushed to Carroll Hospital Center after the Carroll County crash, where he was pronounced dead. Maryland State Police said Ecker was riding his 2001 Harley-Davidson southbound on Alesia Lineboro Road, north of York Road No.1, about 6 p.m. when his bike went off the road for unknown reasons and struck a mailbox.

19.5. Christopher Bannach, 44, of Oak Ridge died Tuesday when he ran a red light on Kingston Pike and his Harley-Davidson motorcycle hit a Jeep Liberty broad-side, Knoxville police said.

21.5. Robert J. Thielke was pronounced dead at the scene of the single-vehicle crash. The area is a construction zone with lanes of two different heights, and it appears the crash occurred when Thielke was attempting to switch lanes. He lost control of the motorcycle, a 2002 Harley-Davidson, and was thrown from the cycle.

22.5. The district attorney for two southwestern Colorado counties died after being thrown from his motorcycle on Interstate 70 west of Golden Saturday. 57-year-old Jim Wilson was going around a long right-hand curve on westbound I-70 when he lost control of his Harley Davidson motorcycle.

23.5. A Bristol man died in a motorcycle accident Sunday afternoon on Route 9 in Cromwell. Scott Burke, 51, was driving his Harley Davidson FLHRCI northbound on Route 9 when he lost control of the motorcycle and struck a light pole, knocking it down. He was thrown from the vehicle.

24.5. Steven J. Meier, 55, of Trempealeau, died when he lost control of the 2010 Harley-Davidson motorcycle he was riding on South Street, about a mile east of Highway M in the town of Caledonia. The 2010-model motorcycle entered the ditch and struck a utility pole, breaking the pole in half. Meier was ejected from the bike and pronounced dead at the scene.

24.5. A Massachusetts woman was killed Saturday morning after apparently driving her motorcycle off Route 101 and striking a guardrail. Valerie Beaton, 60, of Georgetown, Mass., was headed west on the highway on a 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle when the accident happened near the intersection of Eastview Drive, near the large dam on the Souhegan River.

24.5. A Chevrolet SUV driven by John Wilkins, age 66, of Charleston, was attempting a left turn from Lauderdale Memorial Highway onto Frontage Road and pulled into the path of a Harley Davidson motorcycle operated by Kim Ann Loveday, age 44, of Englewood. Loveday was transported to SkyRidge Medical Center but died of her injuries.

25.5. A 43-year-old man is facing drunk driving charges after a motorcyclist was killed in an accident in Scarborough Tuesday morning. Lukman Kabir’s southbound Ford Explorer drifted into the northbound lane on Orton Park Road, running head-on into a Harley Davidson. The 53-year-old male motorcyclist was pronounced dead on the scene.

26.5. A De Smet man died Tuesday in a motorcycle crash with a farm tractor on U.S. Highway 14 east of De Smet. Gerald S. Elkins, 52, was killed when the 1980 Harley-Davidson he was driving hit the front of a Case International tractor driven by Roger Page, 61, of De Smet. Page was uninjured. Elkins wasn’t wearing a helmet.

28.5. The rider of a Harley Davidson motorcycle who died after his machine was in collision with a grey VW Golf on the B1145 at Stanfield has been named as Peter Harvey of North Elmham. Mr Harvey, 51, who lived at Orchard Close in the village, died after the collision which happened near to the junction with Back Lane.

28.5. The vehicle crash on Interstate 880 in Milpitas Thursday killed a woman from Germany riding as a passenger on a motorcycle. A silver Harley Davidson E-Glide motorcycle was traveling southbound on I-880 in the fast lane at 70 mph. This Harley Davidson made a lane change in front of a white International tank truck. The truck driver veered to the right to avoid a collision, but the truck’s load shifted left, so the vehicle swerved leftward again and collided into a couple riding on a trailing Harley Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle. That collision actually caused the passenger to be ejected from the motorcycle, resulting in fatal injuries. Both victims were part of a large motorcycle group from Germany touring the area.

29.5. The driver of a Harley Davidson motorcycle died after losing control of the motorcycle Friday night. A passenger suffered serious injuries, they were riding north on Swallows Road about 12 miles west of Pueblo. The driver went past a stop sign and lost control of the motorcycle while trying to make a turn onto eastbound Highway 50. The motorcycle went into a slide, throwing both people, who ended up in the westbound lanes of Highway 50. The driver did not survive the crash. State Troopers have not released the driver’s name, neither of them were wearing helmets or eye protection.

29.5. Paul John Hendrickson, 54, was headed west with a passenger on Highway 20 when Carmichael’s Gary Lee Defraga, 39, made a left turn, without apparently seeing the 2002 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, from eastbound Highway 20 onto Acacia Avenue and into Hendrickson’s path, the CHP said. The motorcycle plowed into the passenger side of Defraga’s 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe, killing Hendrickson. The intersection was also the site of fatal accident in April 2009. Olivehurst resident Timothy Lamb, 48, died when the motorcycle he was riding was stuck by an SUV driven by Tiffany Fernandez of Yuba City.

29.5. A 40-year-old man died Saturday after his motorcycle collided with a car in front of the North Las Vegas Police Department’s main station. The man was on a 2005 Harley-Davidson motorcycle westbound on Lake Mead Boulevard while transporting a 36-year-old woman as a passenger. The motorcycle crashed into a 2009 Nissan Versa at the intersection of Lake Mead and Bruce Street. An 83-year-old man driving the Nissan turned left on Bruce in front of the motorcycle. The motorcycle struck the right side of the Nissan.

30.5. A Chester. Ill., man was killed when his Harley-Davidson motorcycle collided with an agricultural sprayer on Illinois Route 16 near Jerseyville. The accident happened about 1:20 p.m. about a quarter mile west of Otterville Road. The sprayer driver was headed west when he turned left into a residential driveway; the driver said he had signaled before turning. The motorcyclist, who had started to pass on the left, struck the sprayer’s left rear tire then veered off the road and into a ditch. He was declared dead at the scene.

30.5. A female passenger on a 2005 Harley Davidson motorcycle was killed this morning when the motorcycle collided with a Jeep on Route 140. A preliminary investigation indicates the driver of the Harley Davidson motorcycle was traveling south bound on Milford Street, crossed into the north bound lane and hit a Jeep Wrangler head-on.

31.5. A Riverdale man killed in a motorcycle accident Monday on the Garrison Dam. Donald Parsons, 61, of Riverdale was pronounced  dead at the scene of the accident that happened at 7:40 p.m. Memorial Day. Parsons was westbound crossing the dam on Highway 200 when he failed to negotiate a left-hand curve. His 1999 Harley Davidson hit a guardrail and flipped over the rail coming to rest on the rip-rap on the north face of the dam. He was riding alone and was not wearing a helmet

31.5. Luis Sanchez, 42, from Cashtown, and Bridget Scott, 33, from Fairfield were killed in a crash in Franklin Township. The crash occurred when a 2005 Harley Davidson motorcycle collided with a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am driven by Carole Laughlin, 66, of Gettysburg on Flohrs Church Road, Franklin Township. According to police, the motorcycle was southbound on Flohrs Church Road. The driver lost control on a right-hand curve in the roadway, crossed the center line and collided with the northbound car.

I hope this list of fatal accidents in May 2010 is complete, but I fear it may not be. In the US alone, about 14 motorcycle drivers die every day. If you know of other tragedies involving drivers of a Harley Davidson motorcycle, please feel free to add them in their memories in the comment fields.

Have a safe journey

One last thought:

Motorcycle Hearse Puts the Style Back in Death

Sure, funerals are great for memorializing the life of the recently deceased, but sometimes they can be just a little bit boring. Same old eulogies, same old black outfits and same old hearse transporting the coffin to the cemetery. In southern Illinois, a company called Last Ride Hearse is offering something a little bit different for anyone wanting a unique final ride in a custom built 2009 Harley Davidson Road King modified into a trike and a pull-behind hearse. See their website here.


4 Responses to “Requiescant in pace – May 2010”

  1. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways,
    just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  2. Your account of Mary Delio should include that the driver was also not wearing a helmet and was fine..and that his hot temper..thinking he owed the road caused this womans death…he claims a car pulled out in front of him…he was cited as there was no car…he just lost control.

  3. Sarah Harvey Says:

    My husband, Peter Harvey, who you have mention on this page was given the ultimate biker send off. Over 80 Harleys followed his brother’s Ford F150 Harley Truck in which the coffin carried, 30 miles from our home to the village where he grew up, where he was buried. I am forever grateful to all the people involved in making that day everything that it was.

  4. My brother, David Gregory, 65, was killed May 1 2010 when a car pulled out in front of his Harley, in chesterfield county Va. He had been riding bikes off and on, his whole life.

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