Auburn man dies in motorcycle crash

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An Auburn motorcycle rider was killed in a crash on Highway 174 between Colfax and Grass Valley.

The California Highway Patrol reported 40-year-old Jonathan Friedlander was riding a Suzuki GSX-R sportbike north on Highway 174 approaching Lakewood Road in the Chicago Park area when the crash took place at 2:35 p.m. Saturday.

A 65-year-old Chicago Park woman was driving a Jeep Wrangler south on Highway 174 and made a turn off the highway onto Lakewood Road as Friedlander approached at what the Highway Patrol quoted witnesses as saying was an “excessive speed.” The speed limit on that portion of Highway 174 is 55 mph.

Friedlander saw the Jeep turning and attempted to veer around the Jeep. However, due to his unsafe speed, he was unable to avoid hitting the Jeep, the Highway Patrol reported.

The front of the motorcycle collided with the passenger’s right front side of the Jeep, pitching Friedlander off.

Friedlander was pronounced dead at the scene, the Highway Patrol said.

The driver - the lone occupant of the Jeep - reported pain after the crash but no serious injuries. Several witnesses told the Highway Patrol that they had observed the motorcycle traveling at excessive speeds before the crash. Alcohol or drugs are not believed to have played a roll but a blood toxicology test will take place, the Highway Patrol said.