Fatal crash on Spooner Summit: Motorcylist spent winters working at Tahoe resort
A Glendora man who worked as a part-time volunteer ski patroller at Diamond Peak Resort was identified Sunday as the motorcycle rider killed Friday in a crash west of Spooner Summit, the Washoe County Coroner’s office reported.
Douglas Lloyd Gardner, 45, lost control of his blue Harley Davidson motorcycle when he swerved to avoid some wood in the road while eastbound on Highway 50, said Kristina Citro, his passenger.
The Idaho woman is recovering at Washoe Medical Center with a dislocated knee and elbow injury. She had surgery on her elbow Sunday morning.
She recalled seeing the guardrail, “and that was it,” she said. “I never saw (Gardner).”
Gardner was decapitated on the guardrail, the Nevada Highway Patrol reported. Citro, who ended up in the brush, was conscious while she was transported via Care Flight helicopter to the Reno hospital.
The motorcycle ended up 50 feet down a ravine in Glenbrook Canyon, and the accident called in at 4:25 p.m. closed the highway in both directions for about 20 minutes. She said both were wearing helmets.
“This is awful. We were very close. He was a very good man,” she said. “He had a good sense of humor and love of life.”
Citro, who said she had been dating Gardner for about a year, described a man who had a lot going for him. She said he ran an insurance business and enjoyed mechanical engineering. She added he was asked to teach at Cal Poly Pomona in the fall.
In his leisure, he liked to sail and enjoyed classic cars.
Dennis Griffiths, Diamond Peak ski patrol director, provided an impression of a man who enjoyed the beauty and serene nature of Lake Tahoe.
“He was an all-around nice guy who’s easy to work with. He really liked being at Diamond Peak. It’s a nice, small resort compared to Southern California resorts. He said it was relaxing, and he liked to patrol. It’s the main (reason) why he came up here,” he said.
Griffiths recalled meeting Gardner at Mountain High Ski Area at Wrightwood. Gardner worked at Diamond Peak over the last two winters.