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Sparks man in fair condition after motorcycle wreck

Robert Steuber
Special to The Union

A man from Sparks, Nev., was in fair condition Sunday after losing control of his motorcycle and wrecking it on Highway 20, just north of Nevada City, a hospital spokeswoman reported.

But Daniel L. Molter, 25, had been listed in serious condition on Saturday after suffering major injuries as a result of the wreck, according to the California Highway Patrol.

He was driving west on Highway 20 at 9:41 a.m. Saturday when he lost control of his 2007 Kawasaki EX650A motorcycle on a sweeping turn just downhill from passing lane, about a mile north of Nevada City, according to Engineer Pat Sullivan of Nevada County Consolidated Fire Protection District.

The motorcycle went off of the north side of the highway, hit a Caltrans snow marker pole on the gravel shoulder, continued airborne and hit a large pine tree, Grass Valley CHP Officer George Kirbyson said.

Molter was ejected from the bike, then flew through the air for an estimated 30 feet before hitting the ground at the base of another large tree, Sullivan said.

One of his shoes was torn off and was near the first tree. Parts of the bike were scattered over an area 30 feet to 50 feet from the snow pole, Sullivan said.

Molter suffered a broken left arm, broken lower left leg and “other multiple injuries,” Sullivan said. He also appeared to have spinal injury, rescue workers at the scene said.

Molter, the solo rider of the Kawasaki, was taken by Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital ambulance to the Eric W. Rood Administrative Center, where he was transported by a Calstar medical helicopter to Sutter Roseville Memorial Hospital, Nevada City Fire Chief Sam Goodspeed said.

He was in fair condition Sunday, hospital spokeswoman Nancy Turner said.

When asked whether high speed could have contributed to the accident, Kirbyson replied, “It’s a darn good possibility.”

Nevada City Fire Department responded to the scene and assisted in getting Molter onto a back board and load him into the ambulance.

The motorcycle was towed away.

Anyone witnessing the accident is asked to contact the Grass Valley office of the CHP by leaving a message at (916) 861-1300 (press 1, then hold for a dispatcher) or call on Monday at 273-4415.


City Editor Trina Kleist contributed to this report. Robert Steuber lives in Grass Valley; messages for him may be left at tkleist@theunion.com or 477-4230.

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