Requiescant in pace – October 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 fellow Harley drivers who died in a accident. These news alerts are mainly limited to events in the US. I think that in some cases one can learn from these tragic events, and here the latest reports mentioning the fellow divers and passengers killed while doing what they most enjoyed.

Please drive safely and wear a helmet!


1.10. A man and a woman believed to have been his girlfriend died when their motorcycle crashed into a drainage ditch in northern St. Charles County, officials said. The Sheriff’s Department identified them as Ty E. Gustafson, 40, and Angelic C. Jarvis, 36, both of the 400 block of Dames Park Drive in O’Fallon, Mo. Investigators said Gustafson lost control of his 2007 Harley-Davidson about 9 p.m. Thursday on southbound Washeon Road, at Orchard Farm Road. Both died at the scene.

1.10 A motorcycle crash Friday night in Montgomery County claimed the life of one person and injured another, about four miles west of Independence. According to the patrol’s crash log, a 2002 Harley-Davidson motorcycle being driven east on US-160 highway left the roadway and entered a ditch, striking three posts before coming to rest on its side. The rider of the motorcycle and a passenger both were ejected from the bike. The fatality victim was identified as Gordon W. Johnson, 69, of Elk City. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger on the motorcycle, Donella A. Johnson, 60, of Elk City, was reported injured. She was taken to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.

2.10. A motorcyclist was killed today after his bike crashed on the Reagan Memorial Tollway in Kane County. The 30-year-old man was riding on a silver 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle in the westbound lanes of the tollway (Interstate Highway 88) in Blackberry Township about 11:20 a.m., when it veered to the left and hit a guardrail. The man was thrown from the motorcycle. He was later pronounced dead at Delnor Hospital in Geneva, said state police Master Sgt. Susan Ewald. She could not disclose the name of the victim, pending notification of his family members.

2.10. A Hatboro man was killed after he lost control of the motorcycle he was riding on Interstate 79 in Ohio Township Saturday afternoon. State troopers said Brian Christopher Helm, 41, was riding a Harley Davidson southbound near the Mount Nebo exit, when for some unknown reason he left the roadway and traveled onto the median shoulder. The motorcycle flipped and Helm was thrown over 130 feet. He was pronounced dead when first responders arrived.

3.10. A Midland man died on Saturday morning when his motorcycle crashed in Scurry County. It happened at the intersection of Highway 350 and FM 1606. DPS Troopers tell NewsWest 9, a 1997 Chevy pick-up traveling north failed to yield and slammed into a 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle, ejecting the driver. The motorcycle driver, 50-year-old Jack Irwin Miller, died at the scene.

3.10. A 55-year-old Carbondale man died Saturday afternoon in a motorcycle crash on Highway 133. David Newcomb was heading south on the highway on his Harley Davidson motorcycle when he went off the right side of the road and traveled 231 feet. Newcomb, who was not wearing a helmet, was ejected off the bike, according to the patrol. The bike rolled 2 1/4 times. Newcomb was pronounced dead at the scene. The crash occurred 20 miles south of Carbondale.

3.10. Two Nanaimo motorcyclists were killed Saturday afternoon when their bike missed a turn. A 17-year-old man had been driving southbound in the right lane of the Nanaimo Parkway between the Jinglepot Road and College Drive exits, police said. He went to move his pickup truck into the left lane, but noticed a motorcycle in his blind spot. So he corrected, police said, and stayed in the right lane. The 51-year-old male driver of the black 2006 Harley Davidson then pulled up next to the truck and glared at the 17-year-old without paying attention to the road. The bike accelerated and kept going straight, though the road ahead curved to the right. The bike went off the road. Both the driver and his 40-year-old female passenger were rushed to hospital, and later succumbed to their life-threatening injuries. Police said both had been wearing beanie-style helmets.

3.10. A 47-year-old Fresno man was killed shortly after 11:30 p.m. Saturday when his 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle crashed with a 2003 Chevrolet at the intersection of Jensen and Valentine avenues. The Fresno County Coroner’s Office identified the driver Sunday as Steven Hill. He was traveling north on Valentine when he stopped at a stop sign. As he crossed Jensen, he rode into the path of the Chevrolet, which had the right of way. Hill died at the scene.

4.10. Two people are dead after being involved in a motorcycle wreck in Shelby County. 48-year-old James Durehl Graves and 44-year-old Ida Poarch Graves were killed when involved in a wreck on their 2005 Harley Davidson motorcycle. The accident happened on County Road 55 around 4:20 p.m. on Sunday. James Graves was transported to UAB Hospital before being pronounced dead. Ida Graves was pronounced dead at the scene.

4.10. A man riding a Harley Davidson was killed in a crash Monday night in Idaho Falls. Idaho State Police said Patrick Stephens, 56, was riding north on Hitt Rd. and Martin Newman, 59, was driving southbound in a pickup truck. ISP said when Newman tried to make a turn east onto 1st St., the motorcycle hit the pickup, killing Stephens. Newman was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released, ISP said. State police said Stephens was not wearing a helmet. Both men are from Idaho Falls.

6.10. A Houston motorcyclist died Saturday night after a collision with a car driven by Winona’s poet laureate, according to the Winona County Sheriff’s Department. Richard Allan Strelow, 56, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash at the intersection of county roads 12 and 17 near Witoka, a sheriff’s department press release states. The Harley-Davidson that Strelow was riding and a Subaru Outback driven by Kenneth Douglas McCullough, 67, of Winona collided at about 9:45 p.m. Strelow was not wearing a helmet.

6.10. A man who was ejected from his Harley Davidson motorcycle in a wreck Saturday night has died. The U.S. 98 wreck happened at 8:15 p.m. as Fort Walton Beach resident Matheson D. Nunnery, 52, was traveling westbound west of Inlet Beach, a trooper wrote. A witness said Nunnery veered off the roadway and was ejected from the motorcycle onto the side of the roadway. Nunnery and the 2008 bike rolled several times before coming to a stop on the north shoulder of the road.

7.10. One man is dead after a fatal motorcycle accident involving a deer early Thursday morning. It happened on Rockford’s north side right after midnight on Gleasman Road just east of Old River Road, Sheriff’s Deputies say, Paul L Blunck, 38, of Rockford was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle going west bound when a deer ran out in front of him. Deputies say, he was pronounced dead at the scene and it appears that he was not wearing a helmet.

9.10. A motorcyclist has died after a car smashed into his Harley-Davidson in Melbourne’s north. The man, in his early 40s, was riding along Spring Street in Preston about 12.40pm (AEDT) on Saturday when he was struck by a sedan pulling out of a residential driveway. The motorcyclist died at the scene while his passenger, also in his 40s, was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital with minor injuries, police said in a statement.

9.10. A 69-year-old motorcyclist was killed Friday night after his Harley Davidson struck an SUV on I-70 in Howard County, state police said. Earl Burton Walker of South Charleston, W.V., was heading east on I-70, near Woodbine Road in Lisbon when his motorcycle collided with a 1999 Ford Explorer driven by Gary Eugene Fyffe Jr., 33, of Pasadena. State police said the Ford was disabled in the left lane because of a flat front tire when the motorcycle crashed into the back of the SUV. Fyffe, the driver of the Ford Explorer was driving under the influence of alcohol and was arrested for DUI, police said, but no charges have been filed.

10.10. A 9-year old Partlow boy who was riding on the back of his father’s motorcycle died in a two-vehicle accident in Orange County yesterday afternoon. Robert Darwin Promer was killed when the 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle driven by his father, Mark Promer, 49, hit the passenger side of a turning pickup truck. Mark Promer was flown to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. His condition is not known. Both Promers were wearing helmets.

11.10. The California Highway Patrol identified today the man who died Sunday after crashing his motorcycle into an embankment near Gonzales. At 4 p.m., CHP Officer Robert Lehman said, Johnny Lorono, 54, of Salinas lost control of his 2006 Harley Davidson Road King and slammed into a fence on Gloria Road. Lehman said Lorono had just left the Swiss Rifle Club when the accident occurred. He said that while it appears that alcohol may have been a factor in the crash, the incident is still under investigation. Lorono died at the scene.

12.10. A man was killed in a motorcycle crash on State Road 252 in Franklin County on Oct. 10. Mahlon Gillard, 64, Anderson, was driving a 2005 Harley-Davidson Street Glide westbound at about 3:45 p.m. When he left the north side of the road and entered the ditch line, Gillard was ejected from the motorcycle, a witness reported. The vehicle came to rest on the side of the ditch with the driver trapped underneath. Gillard was pronounced dead at Fayette Memorial Hospital, Connersville.

12.10. A Lawrenceville woman died over the weekend when the motorcycle she and her husband were traveling on struck a sports car in Tennessee. According to a report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, 61-year-old Tonya Burns was riding on the back of the Harley-Davidson driven by her husband near tiny Tellico Plains when they “lost control in a curve” at about 2 p.m. Sunday. The motorcycle overcorrected, authorities said, as Burns and husband Alfred Richard Burns Jr. were thrown into an oncoming Mazda Miata convertible. Alfred Burns was injured. His wife died from her injuries, the report said.

13.10. Lubbock police this morning released the names of the two motorcyclists killed Tuesday evening in South Lubbock. Richard Tilson Bagwell, 49, and Christy Ann Winters, 41, both died at University Medical Center following the 7:20 p.m. crash in the 8700 block of University Avenue, police officials said. Bagwell and Winters were riding a 2001 Harley Davidson Road King motorcycle north on University when an SUV hit their motorcycle. Bagwell was operating the motorcycle, and Winters was the passenger. The SUV driven by a 24-year-old woman was southbound in the center lane preparing to turn east onto 87th Street when she failed to yield the right of way, according to the police report. Bagwell and Winters were thrown from the bike. Neither was wearing a helmet.

13.10. A 48-year-old man died after he crashed his motorcycle into a pickup truck on State Road 30A Wednesday afternoon. About 4:30 p.m., Doyle Chappell of Panama City Beach was riding his 2003 Harley Davidson east on S.R. 30A behind a 2005 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by 65-year-old Jeffrey Lee Rozhon, also of Panama City Beach, according to a Florida Highway Patrol news release. Rozhon slowed down to make a right turn onto Kelly Street, and Chappell began to brake, the release said. Chappell’s Harley traveled into the shoulder and went about 140 feet before crashing into the back of the pickup truck. Chappell was taken to Bay Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. He was not wearing a helmet.

14.10. Lonas W. Mack, 49, of Cambridge, died at the Northwestern Medical Center after he crashed his 1989 Harley Davidson motorcycle into a home at 42 Jewell St. Deputies responded to the crash shortly after 7 p.m. Jewell Street is off Lake Road in St. Albans Town, heading toward St. Albans Bay. Investigation revealed that Mack crashed into the house – which doubles as a tax and bookkeeping business – after he turned onto Jewell Street from Lake Road and then accelerated rapidly. As Mack approached the end of the dead-end street, he lost control of his bike and crashed into the side of the building. AmCare Ambulance Service transported Mack to the St. Albans hospital, where he died. Speed and alcohol were contributing factors in the crash, according to the sheriff’s office.

16.10. 62-year-old Ricky Dean Ball was killed when the Harley Davidson he was driving hit a car that police say was in the wrong lane. Ball’s wife, 61-year-old Nancy Lynnette Ball, was driving another motorcycle and was also hit. She was taken to HCMC in Minneapolis and listed in serious condition on Saturday. According to Sheriff Dave Bellows, the victim and his wife were traveling southbound on Cedar Ave. on separate motorcycles when a car going northbound attempted to turn into a driveway, but instead, ended up in the path of the motorcycles.

18.10. A Carson City man was killed Saturday night when his 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle left Genoa Lane near the Settelmeyer silos. Christian Joseph Coleman, 59, was eastbound on Genoa Lane when his motorcycle left the right edge of the roadway and crashed, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol. The accident was reported at 9:45 p.m., according to the Nevada Highway Patrol. Medics found him in a field. He was taken by helicopter to Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

19.10. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has identified Clifton Turner, 55, as the motorcyclist who died from his injuries following a crash in Royal Palm Beach on Oct. 4. Turner was traveling north on Royal Palm Beach Boulevard approaching Sevilla Avenue when he lost control of the 2005 Harley-Davidson, veered off the roadway, overturned and was thrown, according to PBSO. Turner was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center for treatment and was pronounced dead by hospital personnel on Oct. 15, according to the accident report.

20.10. A Brooksville motorcyclist died from his injuries Tuesday afternoon following a two-vehicle accident along County Road 476, troopers said. His 1998 Harley Davidson collided with a pickup as the latter was pulling into a gas station parking lot, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Robert M. Reihsmann, 56, was traveling west along the county highway shortly after 4:30 p.m. when the crash occurred, troopers said. The driver of the 1984 Ford F-250, David J. Hicks, 20, of Bushnell, was traveling eastbound along the same road and was making a left turn into the Circle K food store at the County Road 647 intersection when Reihsmann’s motorcycle rammed into the truck’s front end. Reihsmann was ejected from his motorcycle, the report showed.

23.10. A 43-year-old motorcyclist died from head injuries after he crashed his cycle on State Road 15 during a police chase late Friday night. Around 11:35 p.m., an Elkhart County patrolman saw a 2001 Harley-Davidson traveling 53 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone on the north side of Goshen. As the officer attempted to make a traffic stop, the motorcyclist picked up speed. The fatal crash happened several minutes later on a recently improved section of road, just north of U.S. 20. During the road upgrade, changes were made to both grade and curves, police said. Police identified the motorcyclist as David D. Untiedt.

23.10. Iowa County Sheriff’s Dept. Deputies responded to a motorcycle crash on CTH YD just east of STH 23-151 in the Town of Mineral Point. Deputies located a 1976 Harley Davidson wrecked in the ditch at this location. The operator was located 30 feet from the motorcycle. The driver was identified as Jeffrey A. DeVoss (44) from Dodgeville. Mr. DeVoss suffered serious head injuries and was transported to Upland Hills Hospital by Mineral Point EMS and then transported to UW Madison Hospital by Med Flight. Later Jeffrey A. DeVoss was later pronounced dead at UW Hospital. Preliminary investigation shows DeVoss was following a friend on another motorcycle traveling northwest on CTH YD. DeVoss lost control negotiating a curve and was ejected from the motorcycle. Jeffrey DeVoss was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and alcohol may be a factor as to the cause.

24.10. One person is dead after a Saturday night wreck on Interstate 85 in Greenville County. According to Lance Cpl. Scot Edgeworth with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the driver of a 1996 Harley Davidson motorcycle, identified as 42-year old Kade Stokes, of Piedmont, was riding southbound on the Interstate around mile marker 46 when he failed to slow down for traffic. Stokes struck the back of a 1993 Dodge pickup truck, driven by 45-year old Charles Miller, of Piedmont, and was ejected from the motorcycle. Stokes was not wearing a helmet and pronounced dead at the scene due to blunt force trauma. Miller was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured.

24.10. A Seffner man died Saturday night after crashing a motorcycle into a car pulling into a gas station. While riding a 2010 Harley Davidson north on Valrico Road about 7 p.m., 37-year-old Henry Jordan, of 1017 Lakeshore Ranch Drive, hit the front end of Ryan Persaud’s 2002 Toyota Tundra as Persaud was turning into the Citgo parking lot at Valrico Road and Sydney Road. Persaud, 27, of 3409 Highwood Road in Valrico, violated Jordan’s right of way. He wasn’t hurt, but Jordan, who was wearing a helmet and eye protection, died at the scene.

27.10. A motorcyclist was killed this afternoon in Newcastle when he veered into the path of an oncoming van on a rural Placer County roadway. Officer Dave Montijo of the California Highway Patrol said the man was riding a 1997 Harley Davidson motorcycle eastbound on Indian Hill Road at Newcastle Road at 2:43 p.m. At that point, Montijo said, the road consists of two eastbound lanes heading uphill and one westbound lane coming downhill. As he approached a slight curve, the motorcyclist strayed into the opposite lane where he collided head on with a 2003 commercial Chevy van. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released pending notification of family.

Although the front end of the 2003 white utility van was crushed, the driver of the van, Christopher J. Lemieux, 27, of Fair Oaks, was not injured. Sgt. Dan Fugate of the California Highway Patrol called the van driver “pretty much a very lucky” individual. According to Montijo, at the time of impact, both vehicles were traveling at 50 mph; the speed limit is 55.

28.10. The 67-year-old man who died when he crashed his motorcycle on U.S. Highway 27 south of South Bay Wednesday has been identified as Paul Raymond Bloch of Wake Forest, N.C., according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Bloch was headed southbound about seven miles south of South Bay when he lost control of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle he was riding, and was thrown to the ground as the cycle flipped, the highway patrol reports this morning.

29.10. A 57-year-old Kersey man died Thursday night when his motorcycle collided with a car at U.S. 34 and Weld County Road 45, just east of Greeley. The unidentified motorcyclist collided with a Cadillac driven by an 83-year-old man, according to Trooper Nate Reid of the Colorado State Patrol. The motorcycle involved was a 2000 Harley-Davidson. U.S. 34 was temporarily closed because of the crash Thursday night, as state troopers and Greeley police diverted traffic around the scene. The names of the drivers haven’t been released, pending notification of relatives. Trooper Reid said the motorcyclist was taken by ambulance to North Colorado Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead in the emergency room. The driver of the Cadillac suffered minor injuries.

31.10. A motorcyclist died and a second motorcyclist is in critical condition after trying to avoid a deer in the road in Sarasota, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The men were on Clark Road, just east of Myakka Valley Road, about 7:15 p.m. Saturday. George Taylor, riding a 2000 Harley Davidson, swerved to avoid the deer but couldn’t. He lost control of the bike and was thrown off, the FHP said. James Roe, riding behind Taylor on a 2010 Harley Davidson, swerved and missed the deer but lost control of his bike and was thrown. Both men, who are from Kentucky, went to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. Taylor, 67, died, and Roe, 65, is listed in critical condition.

31.10. A Plant City man died Sunday, and his daughter was hospitalized after his motorcycle crashed into a car that was pulling out of a driveway, deputies said. Roy Margison, 46, was backing out of his driveway shortly before 10 p.m. to head south on Branch Forbes Road when Carlos Camacho‘s Harley-Davidson struck the front end of Margison’s Ford Explorer, the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office said. Camacho, 49, and his daughter, Elise Berk, 19, were thrown off the motorcycle and onto the pavement. Deputies said Camacho died at Lakeland Regional Hospital. Berk, also taken to the hospital, is in stable condition.

31.10. The Florida Highway Patrol reports that a motorcyclist and his passenger were killed in an early morning crash in Naples. According to the FHP, the crash occurred at 1:51 a.m. Sunday morning on Pine Ridge Road at the intersection of I-75. An Isuzu truck driven by Julio R. Vilagut, 50, of Naples, was headed westbound on Pine Ridge Rd. when he stopped at the traffic signal. An approaching Harley-Davidson motorcycle struck the rear of the truck, ejecting both the motorcycle’s driver and the passenger. Both were pronounced dead on scene. The driver of the truck suffered minor injuries. The names of the deceased are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

I hope this list of fatal accidents for October 2010 is complete, but I fear it may not be. In the US alone, a average of 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.

In the meantime, keep your distance, maintain a safe speed, and ride defensively. Have a safe journey. And should you be caught speeding, do not try to outrun the police, it usually ends in tears.


4 Responses to “Requiescant in pace – October 2010”

  1. May the lives that were taken r.I.p. and to the people who mourn the lost may you find peace within. May God continue blessing you
    In the areas that you are weak.

  2. Wow. May they all rest in peace and be forever riding their hogs 🙂

  3. the death of my best Friend Richard Allan Strelow who was killed on county road 12 and 17 just outside of wintoka MN .
    If you look at the video from the news and looked at the scene of the accident the police marked tire tracks that cut the corner of the intersection of county road 12 and 17 and the motorcycle was before the intersection . so my question is when a motorcycle hits a suburu hard enough that it spins it around to where the rear tires are of the ashalt how can the driver of the suburu ( Kenneth McCollough ) say he came to a complete stop at the stop sign and then proceded to make his left turn . Unless the laws of physics has changed , if he had stopped at the stop sign and then proceeded and Richard Strelow hit the drivers side rear quarter panel the suburu would of been spun around on the south side of the intersection not on the north side of the intersection .
    The motorcycle was traveling south Kenneth McCollough was traveling north going towards Witoka , Motorcycle hits suburu at 55mph when Kenneth McCollough supposedly has stopped then procedes turning left going north towards witoka ( the law of physics says since the suburu pulled out and the motoecycle hit it then the suburu should of been spun around and stopped on the south side of the intersection not 50 ft on the north side of the intersection . seems the police are gonna let another elderly person walk free after killing a biker ,seems when you get old and have nite blindness and shouldnt be driveing its OK as long as you only kills a bikers .

    • The lawrenceville man who’s wife was killed in Tellico Plains on Oct.10 2010, also passed away seven days after the accident. We miss them both.

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