Motorcyclist killed on Pioneer Trail |

Motorcyclist killed on Pioneer Trail

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune
Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily TribuneEmergency workers are unable to save a motorcycle accident victim on Pioneer Trail on Sunday.

A 27-year-old man died Sunday on Pioneer Trail after the motorcycle he was riding 100 mph struck the back bumper of a car in front of him.

California Highway Patrol said it would not release the name of the man or his residence until they notified his family.

“He was probably going over 100,” said Officer Terry Pinzon. “He was passing several vehicles before he swerved back into the westbound lane, hit the car and ejected from the motorcycle. He probably traveled 75 to 100 feet.”

The man had shallow breathing and a weak pulse when Lake Valley Fire Protection District paramedics began treating him around 6:40 p.m.

An air ambulance landed next to the crash, about a half-mile west of Golden Bear. It went unused because medics pronounced the man dead around 7 p.m.

The rider was wearing a helmet, but severe chest injuries likely caused his death, said Lake Valley fire Capt. Joe McAvoy.

The front wheel of the motorcycle broke off the frame of the bike during the collision. It lay in pine needles, several feet from the eastbound lane. The body of the motorcycle sat with its brake light still on about 15 feet from the wheel, stripped of its sporty plastic casing. The bike tumbled numerous times and sprayed its red and gray parts over about a 50-foot section of the road.

Kevin Cooper, co-owner of Cutting Edge Sports, a South Lake Tahoe store that specializes in motorcycles and other sporting equipment, was driving the car the motorcyclist hit.

Cooper, his wife, Carolyn, and their two dogs were in the car but no one was injured. The couple was upset as they watched, from a distance, paramedics work on a man they believed to be a friend.

The couple’s Toyota 4Runner had its rear window blown out, a flat left rear tire, a smashed left taillight and a twist in the left side of its bumper.

A blood-alcohol test will be done on the 27-year-old. Pinzon said the test is required in any fatal accident.

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or at

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