Motorcycle accident closes Road 200

An accident involving two motorcycles closed Road 200 west of North Fork June 6.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Galen Kumataka, 59, of Fresno, was west bound at about 12:10 p.m. on Road 200 about a mile and a half out of North Fork. He then, for an unknown reason, lost control of his Harley Davidson, went down, and slide across the double yellow line directly in the path of Charles Albrecht, 68, of Fresno, who was riding his Harley east bound on 200.

Both solo riders were wearing helmets, and both were traveling at about 45 mph when the accident occurred, ejecting them both off their motorcycles onto the east bound lane of the road.

Kumataka suffered major injuries and was airlifted by the SkyLife helicopter to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, and as of Tuesday, he is still in a comma.

Albrecht suffered moderate injuries and was transported by Sierra Ambulance to Community Regional Medical Center.

It is believed both men were members of two different groups who were touring the Mountain Area Saturday.

Kumataka was riding in a fundraising poker run organized by Sierra Shadow Casters motorcycle club of Coarsegold to raise money for Captain Pete Dern, the Fresno firefighter who was critically injured when he fell through the roof of a burning house in Fresno in late March. Dern is still in the burn unit at CRMC.

Albrecht was riding with a group of about 65 other riders in the ninth annual Bikers for Christ annual bike blessing and run.

The accident remains under investigation.

With California having more than 830,000 registered motorcycles (the most of any state), and more than 1.4 million motorcycle riders, the CHP reminds motorcyclists and motorists to be extra alert as more motorcycles are on the road during the summer season.

In 2013, motorcycle collisions resulted in 475 fatalities, and 13,143 injuries nationally according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Staff Report