Jim, Part 1

Motorcyclist dies in wreck

Staff Report

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

HAYDEN — A Craig teenager returning home from a church camp in a sport-utility vehicle crossed the centerline of U.S. Highway 40 and struck a motorcycle head-on Monday, the State Patrol reported.

The driver of the motorcycle, James Cameron, 61, of Anchorage, Alaska, was pronounced dead at the scene, about seven miles west of Hayden.

Cameron’s 2002 BMW motorcycle collided with a 2000 Dodge Durango driven by Samuel Billig, 18, of Craig. The accident occurred at about 2:48 p.m., said State Patrol Cpl. Brian Bagley, who is investigating the accident.

Billig has been charged with careless driving causing death. He was issued a summons to appear in court in Routt County, Bagley said.

The preliminary investigation indicates that Billig fell asleep at the wheel. Instead of rounding a curve, Billig, who was headed west, drifted into the eastbound lane, Bagley said.

“He had been at some type of church camp — or something to that effect — down in the Stagecoach area for some days and was driving back,” Bagley said.

The impact folded the motorcycle’s frame in half and Cameron’s helmet came off in the collision, the trooper said. There were numerous witnesses to the accident.

Investigators don’t know Cameron’s destination, but he appeared to be traveling. He had started this leg of his journey in Salt Lake City earlier on Monday.

The airbags in the Durango went off. Both occupants were wearing seatbelts. An unidentified 16-year-old passenger in the Durango suffered minor injuries. Billig’s parents came to the scene and took him to The Memorial Hospital with “moderate injuries,” Bagley wrote in his report.

Bagley’s investigation will take several days to complete. He has not yet tried to determine the speeds of each vehicle upon impact, but said excessive speed doesn’t appear to be a factor.

Alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the accident, Bagley said.

RIP, Jim.

(Edit 2/13/08: I changed the title of this post in an attempt to curtail the massive amounts of comment spam that it attracted. Hopefully it won’t break anyone’s TrackBack links.)

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