Motorcyclist killed riding to mother's funeral

Published On: Aug 30 2012 01:54:42 PM PDT   Updated On: Aug 24 2012 06:10:39 PM PDT
MedStar Highway 2 motorcycle crash
CHATTAROY, Wash. -

A motorcyclist killed in a crash on Highway 2 north of Chattaroy Friday morning had been heading to Newport for his mother's funeral.

The crash happened 16 miles north of Spokane  at 9:40 a.m.

The Washington State Patrol reports the motorcyclist, identified as John Sanderson, 59, of Spokane, was heading northbound on Highway 2 when a truck parked on the northbound shoulder suddenly attempted to make a U-Turn in the middle of the highway.

"Pulled of onto the shoulder because he had passed an address he was going to, and he decided to make a U-turn. Unfortunately, he did that U-turn right in front of our victim on the motorcycle who was following a short distance behind him," Washington State Patrol Trooper Troy Briggs said.

Sanderson hit the broad side of the truck.

CPR was started on Sanderson, and MedStar launched a chopper to the crash site, but Washington State Patrol troopers reported at 10:24 a.m. he died at the scene.

Traveling in a vehicle behind Sanderson was his wife and other members of his family, who were all traveling to Newport for the funeral of Sanderson's mother, who died on Monday. They had to stand by and watch as paramedics and Northwest MedStar medical personnel worked to save his life.

"Anytime you have family members who arrive at a scene where you have obviously life-threatening injuries and the medical crew getting there and working on your loved one, it's traumatic for everybody," Trooper Briggs said.

Dolores Sanderson's funeral was held at 11 a.m. as members of her family now have to struggle with getting ready to hold a second funeral.

Garry Baumgartner, 37, of Valleyford, was the driver of the truck and was injured in the collision. He was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

Briggs said motorcycle riders have to assume they are invisible to other drivers on the road.

"There's a lot of times drivers of vehicles don't see motorcycles. It's just one of those things that unfortunately happens, and again, unfortunately, this is a pretty tragic event, and it's very sad," he said.