Motorcyclist dies in Highway 49 canyon crash in Auburn

Troy Arter remembered as outdoors-, family-oriented Auburn resident
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A motorcycle rider died late Tuesday in a head-on crash with a pickup on Highway 49 in Auburn.

The victim was identified Wednesday by the Placer County Coroner’s Office as Troy Carl Arter, 45, of Auburn.

The driver of the pickup, who has not been identified by Auburn Police investigators, was uninjured.

Arter’s 2007 Honda RS enduro bike was northbound, traveling uphill toward Auburn on Highway 49, when the collision with the pickup occurred, Auburn Police Lt. Victor Pecoraro said.

Results of a preliminary investigation indicate the motorcycle crossed the double-yellow center line into oncoming traffic, he said. Arter and the motorcycle slid into the front of the pickup, according to early indications, Pecoraro said.

The crash was reported at 6:58 p.m. Arter was flown by CalStar helicopter ambulance to Sutter Roseville Trauma Center with major injuries and was later pronounced dead by medical personnel, Auburn Police said.

The bike, which is built for on- and offroad use, was registered to Arter.

The crash took place on a tight turn about six-tenths of a mile south of the Highway 49-Borland Avenue intersection at the top of the American River canyon route to Cool. A sign just before the turn warns motorists traveling uphill to reduce their speed to 25 mph.

Another sign just south of the turn marks the border between Auburn’s city limits and the Auburn State Recreation Area. The crash occurred within Auburn city limits and about two-tenths of a mile north of the State Parks ranger office.

Highway 49 was closed between Borland Avenue and Old Foresthill Road for at least two hours Tuesday night for the investigation. On Wednesday morning, orange spray paint and a red fuel tank cover at the side of the road marked the area where the crash occurred.

The crash does not appear to be alcohol or drug-related, Pecoraro said. Standard blood tests on both drivers will be taken, he said.

Arter was born Jan. 15, 1968, in Van Nuys, and moved with his family to Auburn in 1971. A 1986 graduate of Placer High School, he was a first baseman on the Hillmen baseball team.

Arter was employed as a heavy equipment operator with Hansen Brothers. 

His aunt, Gaylene Arter, said Wednesday that her nephew was an avid abalone diver and motorcycle enthusiast. Only days earlier, he joined several members of his family on a snowboarding expedition to the Sierra.

“Troy was a loving son, father, brother, uncle, nephew and friend,” Gaylene Arter said.

Survivors include three children, his mother, Sue Stanley, of Foresthill and sisters Teresa Pierce of Auburn and Deanna Olmstead of Roseville.

A more detailed report on the crash is expected to be made available later this week, Pecoraro said. Speeds of both vehicles at the time of the crash are still being investigated and police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident or the vehicles in the time before the crash to contact the Lincoln Way office at (530) 823-4234.

A celebration of Troy Arter’s life is tentatively scheduled for 3 p.m. April 12 at Vina Castellano Winery on Bell Road. Umpqua Bank in Auburn has established a memorial fund in his name.