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Speeds not factoring into fatal Highway 49 crash-cause probe

Collision killed 45-year-old motorcycle rider Troy Arter of Auburn
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Excess speed was apparently not a factor in causing a crash on Highway 49 that took the life of an Auburn motorcycle rider, Auburn Police said Monday.

Longtime Auburn resident Troy Arter, 45, was killed after the motorcycle he was riding alone on collided with the front of a truck late last Wednesday on Highway 49 in Auburn. The crash took place at 6:58 p.m. in the American River Canyon just inside Auburn city limits.

Traffic Officer Chris Forman said Monday that witnesses reported both the motorcycle and pickup involved in the crash were traveling at speeds below posted limits.

Arter’s Honda – which is built for both trail and road use – crossed over a double solid-yellow lane into the oncoming traffic lane, Forman said. The crash took place about six-tenths of a mile south of Borland Avenue in Auburn and two-tenths of a mile north of the Auburn State Recreation Area ranger station.

The collision remained under investigation this week, Forman said.

Forman said the investigation has determined that none of Arter’s tires blew out before the bike crossed into the oncoming lane. There was also no debris or liquid on the road within 500 feet of the collision, which could have led the bike to change course, he said.

The driver of the pickup, whose name was not being released by police at this time, is a male who lives in the Auburn area. He was wearing a safety belt and the pickup’s airbag deployed during the crash, Forman said.

Highway 49, between the confluence and Borland Avenue, was closed until about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday to facilitate the investigation. Traffic to and from Cool was re-routed along Old Foresthill Road and Foresthill Road.

Arter, a Placer High School graduate, was a heavy equipment operator employed by Hansen Brothers.

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