Family man dies in motorcycle accident
A South Lake Tahoe resident described as a likable family man and outdoor enthusiast died Sunday evening following an off-road motorcycle accident at the sand pits near Sawmill Pond.
Tommy Allen Mitchell, 44, received fatal internal injuries when he took a jump, hitting his chest and head on the landing. He was wearing his helmet, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department reported.
The call came in at 4:30 p.m. He apparently collapsed near his motor bike, which he got for his birthday last Sunday.
An autopsy is due to be performed today.
The dedicated husband of Jeannett and father of two children loved sports and spending time with Casie, 6, and Jesse, 8.
The Al Tahoe Elementary students will receive counseling because they witnessed the accident, said Mitchell’s mother-in-law Sue Brown.
“The kids are upset because they couldn’t hug their dad,” she said, fighting back the tears.
Relatives have gathered to support the family.
“The first time I met him I really liked him. He showed my daughter real love,” Brown said, adding the couple met in Willows where he grew up. “(Jeannett) was just saying today how he didn’t kiss her on their first few dates. He’s old-fashioned.”
The Mitchells have been married for 13 years.
Mitchell, who worked at Axelson Iron Works as a welder, was known as a friendly, playful man who liked to be active. The 15-year resident went fishing and hunting and enjoyed playing basketball. He also helped coach a Babe Ruth baseball team.
“He loved people. He loved working with iron,” Brown said. “He was the best father you’d want to know. If Jeannett couldn’t do something, he was right there to do it.”
In another tragic accident a 34-year-old Manhattan Beach man died after falling at least 50 feet Saturday night on the north side of Eagle Lake across Highway 89 from Emerald Bay.
The body was found Sunday morning at 7 a.m. below the 900-foot cliff in the Desolation Wilderness by an El Dorado County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team. He reportedly received massive head trauma and other internal injuries.
His name is being withheld pending notification of his family.
– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at