A 29-year-old Santa Rosa entrepreneur whose passion was developing electric motorcycles was killed while riding one of his prototypes in his hometown on Monday.
The fatal motorcycle accident occurred at 10:40 a.m., according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, when Matthew Deickmann collided with a Toyota Prius driven by 71-year-old Gilbert Dorame, also of Santa Rosa, at a major intersection near the Coddington Mall.
Authorites have not yet determined who was at fault in the deadly crash, according to Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Doug Schlief.
Dieckmann was riding one of his Electric Racing Bikes east on West Steele Lane as he approached Range Avenue; Dorame was heading west on the same street. Witnesses said the light was green for both drivers as they approached the intersection from opposite directions, according to the Press Democrat report.
At that point, what happened is not known for sure. The Clutch and Chrome motorcycle enthusiast website points out that there have been conflicting media reports. Some reports, such as the Press Democrat, state that Dorame had already started to make a left turn onto Range Avenue and was in the intersection when Dieckmann crashed into the passenger side of the Prius. Other reports, such as ABC Channel 7 News, state that Dorame turned left into the path of the motorcycle.
Dieckmann died at the scene. Dorame was not injured.
Police closed the intersection for about five hours and are continuing to investigate the accident. Schlief said neither alcohol nor speeding was a factor.
The spot where Dieckmann was killed is about a mile from the street where his mother was killed in 2007 in a bicycle accident. A recycling truck driver turned into her path and struck her, police said. She was 47.
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