Grass Valley couple dies as result of injuries from May motorcycle wreck |

Grass Valley couple dies as result of injuries from May motorcycle wreck

Two Grass Valley residents have died as a result of injuries they sustained from a motorcycle wreck, authorities confirmed.

Theatis “Pauline” Rudolph, 82, died May 17, and Forrest “Gary” Rudolph, 85, died May 28 after both sustained heavy injuries from a crash on Dog Bar Road, near Lorie Drive, that happened May 8, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The wreck happened after the couple’s motorcycle veered off the roadway for unknown reasons and struck a nearby tree, according to CHP Officer Jason Bice. Both of the Rudolphs were ejected from the vehicle as a result of the crash. Both were wearing helmets, Bice added.

While the couple survived the crash, they both suffered major internal injuries from the collision and were transported by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center for treatment, which is where both later died, authorities said.

No official cause of death has been released for either individual. However, it appears that both husband and wife died as a result of complications from their injuries, Bice said.

The cause of the crash, which happened around 4 p.m. May 8, is undetermined, although drugs or alcohol are not believed to have played any role according to authorities. The section of Dog Bar Road where the collision took place curves sharply to left, but it is not known if this curvature in the roadway was a factor in the crash, Bice said.

The Rudolphs were well known and respected community members, and were particularly active at First Baptist Church of Grass Valley, where they had been attending services since they moved to the area in 1986, according to the church’s pastor, Mark Rindels. In addition to doing regular volunteer work for the church, both of the Rudolphs sang in the church’s choir at Sunday services and at holiday events for many years, up until their deaths, the pastor added.

Gary Rudolph was a retired American Airlines pilot, and continued to fly privately in retirement, maintaining a small aircraft hangar at his Grass Valley residence, Rindels said. The pastor also noted that Rudolph had also been a part-time flight instructor, and had flown private planes for Tesla founder Elon Musk for several years.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. today for the Rudolphs at First Baptist Church, at 1866 Ridge Road, Rindels said.

Stephen Wyer is a staff writer for The Union. He can be reached at

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