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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18 Responses to Jim, Part 1

  1. sharad says:

    How utterly and terribly depressing. Be careful out there everyone, and RIP Jim.

  2. Linda says:

    So sad. 🙁
    Where did you know him from? He looks very familiar to me.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for posting his pictures, Carolyn. I think that’s what I needed to make it *real* to me.

  4. Doug K. says:

    I’m sorry to read about the loss of your friend and a fellow motorcyclist. My condolances to you.
    Rest in peace, Jim.

  5. wookiee says:

    ARRGH it’s always some damned careless car driver.
    RIP Jim.

  6. Alex says:

    …words fail…
    Jim, see you on the other side.

  7. don, pam, karm,and chris says:

    Thought you might like to know, Jim Cameron was our pastor for many years in Anchorage, Alaska. He was a wonderful man and a great friend. He took up motorcycling several years ago after the death of his beloved wife Mary. He believed what the Bible says about an afterlife, and so while we’ll miss him, we know he’s in a much better place. He touched the lives of many people all over the world, and God was ready to take him home.

  8. Linda says:

    Ah, I wondered if he were the guy you met on the ferry.
    That’s so sad. May he rest in peace.

  9. Greg says:

    I, just this morning, heard about Jim.
    I think it’s going to take me a while to process this information.
    I worked professionally with Jim throughout the 1990’s, he was a good engineer/instrument-electrical designer. He always encouraged me in my work.
    He was a very good man and a good friend.
    I talked with him at church just before he left on the trip. He bought me some kind of latte and my wife and I wanted to have him over for dinner, maybe right after he came back. I asked him if it was such a good idea to be back on the motorcycle – he was just getting healed up from a wreck that nearly took his leg a year earlier. He told me that he had to keep riding to feel alive. He missed Mary so very much.
    I believe there will be a memorial service on August 18th here in Anchorage but I don’t have any details; a pastor named Richard Irwin (another motorcyclist) at Anchorage City Church may be doing it.
    Thank you, Carolyn, for your description of talking with Jim. That was just like him. A wonderful man. I am going to miss him.

  10. Randy says:

    Only the good die young, ride on brother, ride on

  11. Julie says:

    I too worked with Jim and Greg. Jim’s way of dealing with the world was the same as his way of dealing with a cup of coffee. Whenever he was poured a cup of black, bitter, scalding liquid in his little brown cup that read “To My Friend” on the side he would immediately start working on it. Life had been at times black and bitter for Jim. Then just like he would with every one around him he would start adding 1/2 & 1/2 and sugar. 1/2 Faith and 1/2 Charity until all of the blackness was washed away and over the rim of the cup. He poured in the sugar like he poured on the sweetness of Human Kindness until there was no more bitterness left in his little cup. Then you could watch him drink from his cup and read again the words on the side “To My Friend”.
    I will miss you my Friend.

  12. Max Tooley says:

    I have to go back to the late 60’s since I was last with Jim and Mary on Java in Indonesia. The Jim I knew then – and I have no reason to believe he would have changed – would if he could right now, get on his bike and ride around to see the young man who fell asleep to comfort and forgive – in the name of Jesus Christ.
    Our youngest sister was taken in a similar sleepy situation and at her funeral, to stand beside and comfort the young driver who had fallen asleep remains a poignant memory.
    Jim is “with his Lord – which is much better! You would get no argument from Jim!
    Max Tooley New Zealand

  13. Lorraine Dierck says:

    Jim and his wife Mary were very close friends for over 30 years. When I first met Jim he was a skinny guy with bright red hair and a huge, endearing grin. Reading these comments show how much Jim was loved and how much he will be missed. But I agree with the comments above -Jim is with his Mary and with the Lord and he would say that is very good. Jim – enjoy! Miss you heaps.

  14. Stephen Harland-Smith says:

    I remember Jim well and thank God for him.He helped me and encouraged me and was a mentor to me. He was a good and kind man who spoke to me of unbounding possibilites and helped me to look beyond the horizon. He walked with me awhile, along the way and I learned from him.
    I was saddened to hear of Mary leaving us some time ago and now,of Jim’s.
    I always think of Jim for his great big smile and generosity of heart… and Mary for her quiet charming ways.
    God bless them and keep them. May He make His face to shine upon them, be gracious to them and give them peace.

  15. Janine Holden says:

    I have thought and thought for a long time about what to say about this tragic event. Dave and I have known Jim and Mary since the early 1970’s when, as mentioned by Lorriane, Jim was skinny with bright red hair and very outgoing. He and Mary had come back to NZ after a period overseas and entertained the youth group with their adventures at a “cram in” at their tiny flat. We were mesmerised. He was an Elder at our church in Wellington, I was his PA when he worked for an electrical engineering firm in Lower Hutt and we were the first couple he married. Dave and I worked with him and stayed with him in the early 1980’s in Anchorage along with our small son.
    A lot of water has gone under the bridge since those days and although we lost touch with them after our return to NZ we have thought about them on many occasions. We were dismayed to hear that Mary became ill and then died. We were equally dismayed to learn that Jim had been killed. We are saddend that their lives are over and we were unable to make meaningful contact with them for a long time.
    I can only trust that, as they truly believed, they are together again and at peace.

  16. sveta says:

    Cool!.. Nice work…

  17. sveta says:

    Nice site… Cool guestbook…

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