News

Motorcyclist dies after crash at Skyline Blvd. near Alpine Road

 

A 24-year-old man died near Skyline Boulevard on Saturday afternoon after the motorcycle he was riding drifted off an embankment just south of Alpine Road and crashed into several trees, according to California Highway Patrol.

The man has been identified as Christopher Damron Jr. of Santa Clara, the San Mateo County Coroner's Office said.

Shortly after noon on Saturday, June 13, a motorcycle rider was reported down an embankment off State Route 35, also known as Skyline Boulevard. He sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene, the CHP said.

The rider was apparently traveling north on Skyline Boulevard, just north of the Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve, when he tried to negotiate a left turn. The motorcycle, a 1990 Yamaha, apparently drifted to the right onto the asphalt and gravel shoulder, and the rider appeared to lose control of the motorcycle, the CHP said.

The motorcyclist then rode off the east shoulder of Skyline Boulevard and down a 50-foot embankment, where the motorcycle crashed with several trees before coming to a rest.

The rider was wearing a helmet. The CHP said alcohol or drugs did not appear to be a factor in the collision.

Witnesses to this collision are asked to call Officer Holly Baker at (650) 369-6261.

Comments

11 people like this
Posted by Betsy M
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2015 at 9:02 pm

We live near this location and were returning from a hike at Skyline Ridge on Sunday when we saw 3 people leaving a beautiful bouquet of red roses and knew it must be for something like this. If Christopher's family is reading this I just want to say how sorry I am for your loss. My son is the same age and my heart is breaking for you.


8 people like this
Posted by Terri Damron
a resident of another community
on Jun 17, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Thank you for your kind words. We are so lost without him. Yes you did see Dad, myself and his best friend were leaving flowers for him. Dad was riding behind him and Chris was not driving recklessly. For some reason he turned around to see where Dad was behind him. We do not understand what happened and never will but something went terribly wrong. Some of the news articles have been very cruel and are making assumptions. A wonderful group of bikers & bicyclists stopped to help my husband and performed CPR on my son until the EMTs arrived. Sadly it was not enough to bring him home.


2 people like this
Posted by Don
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 18, 2015 at 9:57 pm

I don't him or the family but I'm sorry for there loss. I'm also motorcycle rider.


2 people like this
Posted by Terri Damron
a resident of another community
on Jun 19, 2015 at 7:14 am

Please read and share this for the truth on what happened to Chris. It's extremely tough to type and may be hard to read. But, after so much wrong information and bullshit in the newspapers and online, Chris Sr, Terri, and I felt that it was important to tell the facts as we know them of what really happened so that people don't get the wrong information about Chris. His dad would have posted this, but it's still too tough for him to come on FB. None of us can be on FB for more than a minute or two so please understand. I'm typing this offline as much as I can at a time.

Chris and his dad went for a ride Saturday morning after Denny's. They rode highway 9 almost all the way to Santa Cruz and back. They were never speeding or riding fast. Chris' dad has a Harley Sportster that drag the pegs on the ground everywhere if he tries to corner hard. They were riding so relaxed that day that he only scraped his peg once the whole ride.

On the way back, Chris wanted to ride a little more so they went left on highway 35 (skyline blvd) toward the fire station. In a straight section Chris was riding several bike lengths in front of his dad. They weren't riding fast or speeding.

Chris glanced a little over his shoulder (the only time he did that the whole ride) then looked back forward and seemed to speed up a little. He never turned. He never hit the brakes.

His dad said it looked like he was a passenger just along for the ride. From what we know now we are pretty sure that Chris suffered a serious medical condition and he tried looking back for his dad for help before being unable to move or control the bike.

The bike lowsided (front slid out). From anyone who has ridden or does a quick search on youtube when you lowside it's nothing dramatic at first. You slide but aren't thrown and don't fall forward head first. For someone like Chris who has been riding and racing on two wheels since he was 5 years old this in itself wouldn't have meant much.

At the site, we found the vent cover from the TOP of his helmet 20 feet from where the bike went from asphalt to dirt and only a foot from the road. This makes no sense unless something was really wrong medically and he collapsed off the bike head first. The police never marked this piece, but we have it.

His visor came off and WAS marked in a half moon by the police. His dad pointed that out to me. It was within two feet of the road. Chris slid off the hill a little further down the road into trees. From the top of his head hitting first and his visor already off we're pretty sure Chris was completely incapacitated before he got to the turn.

He was unconscious when his dad got to him. His dad climbed back up the hill quickly, flagged down a group of bikers who were very kind and fortunately passing by at that exact moment, and raced back to Chris. One of the bikers never left dad's side and prayed with him the whole time. Another who was certified performed CPR on Chris without a second thought. Chris did breathe a little on his own but never regained consciousness. Dad never left him, and Chris died in his arms.

The link below is where he went off. You can drive this bend in a lifted truck going 55mph no problem. The marker is where the bike went off the asphalt. He wasn't showing off, he wasn't speeding, he didn't run wide. He never turned and he never touched the brakes. There are no skids marks and his brake lights never came on.

Web Link

Chris and I always talked about safety. We never did anything fast in the hills any more because we both knew we had no control of deer, rocks, or other cars. He had all the safety gear - great leather jacket from his dad, riding gloves, shoes, and he just bought a brand new carbon fiber helmet. We know now that safety on a motorcycle is more of an illusion.

Chris spent $350 on his helmet. This may not seem like a lot to many people, but for his budget that was two track days and months of us having to skip Thunderhill, Laguna, and Buttonwillow. When racing is your whole life, that's a serious purchase. He could have bought a cheapo $80 helmet and we wouldn't have had to skip so many track days. But, he listened. He cared and bought the best.

Chris was the happiest he had ever been on that ride. The bike was finally done and registered, the day was sunny, he was riding with his best friend. He wasn't racing. He wasn't speeding. He wasn't drunk or doing drugs. He wasn't showing off. We won't know the whole truth, but we do know it wasn't a mistake, speed, or not paying attention. His heart palpitations had been much more serious lately, but we won't ever know if it was that or something else. What we do know is that it was too soon for someone so special and with such a big heart.


3 people like this
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 19, 2015 at 8:07 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

What a tragedy. My deepest condolences to you and your family. May Chris RIP.


3 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 19, 2015 at 12:06 pm

pogo is a registered user.

Thank you for your comments, Terri.

I am so very sorry for this tragedy and my heartfelt condolences to Chris's family.


Like this comment
Posted by Sad news
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 21, 2015 at 5:24 pm

What a terrible tragedy. Thoughts are with this family.


2 people like this
Posted by Rich Lee MD
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2016 at 4:59 pm

I am a physician, former EMT and disaster medical planner for the skyline community and have lived approximately 1.5 miles south of this accident site for over 25 years. I've either assisted in accidents observed them or pronounced victims dead several times in that exact area. Although it may not have been the cause of Chris's accident, there is a subtle and very dangerous condition of the payment in that exact spot. The road was repaired with chip seal, but in that one location it has worn away, leaving a slick patch of tar base in a slight depression that is caused several cars and motorcycles to lose traction and either go off the road on the outside of the turn, or in the case several cars and one UPS truck, oversteer and cross the road to strike the power pole on the inside of the corner. In the last two months, this power pole has been taken out twice. It's ironic that the power pole was moved after several motorcycle struck it with fatal results, to the inside of the curve where now it gets struck frequently by over-steering cars, knocking down the power lines and increasing the risk of electrocution and wildfires as well. I have a file open with Caltrans claiming this is a particularly dangerous stretch of road with very subtle hazards that need to be fixed.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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