Bruce Rossmeyer Accident. What Happened?

brucerossmeyerdaytonaAfter the shock of knowing that Bruce Rossmeyer was killed on a motorcycle, you all wondered what really happened. It’s too late to blame anyone. The only thing I can report is what says the official police report (From WYDOT, Accident Records, 5300 Bishop Blvd. Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009. (307)777-4450).

“The roadway at the time of the crash was dry with clear weather conditions. Both vehicles were eastbound on WYO 28. Rossmeyer was traveling with a group of five other motorcycles. Rossmeyer was behind the VanValkenburg vehicle which was pulling a 2 axle camper style trailer. VanValkenburg braked and used his vehicles left turn signal to indicate he was going to make a turn from WYO 28 onto a small dirt road.

 VanValkenburg was in the process of making his left turn when Rossmeyer attempted to pass the VanValkenburg combination on the left. Rossmeyer collided into the drivers side door of the VanValkenburg pickup. The collision occurred near the westbound shoulder. After impact, Rossmeyer was ejected from the motorcycle and came to rest partially under the trailer near the passenger side tires. Troopers investigating this crash have determined that the turn signals and the brake lights were in working condition on the VanValkenburg combination. It is unknown why Rossmeyer did not see the turn signal/ brake lights”.

24 Responses to “Bruce Rossmeyer Accident. What Happened?”

  1. 1 Todd8080 Aug 4th, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Something the [brief & sketchy] report fails to mention is, who verified there even was a turn signal? Did rider #6 tell the cops he saw a signal, did other motorists make statements to that effect or did the truck’s driver simply claim that he signaled?
    Also, after being passed by four bikes, it seems that VanValkenburg would have been watching to see if more bikes might be passing him. It would be helpful to read a statement from rider #6.

  2. 2 Brandon Aug 4th, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Many possibilities. One of them being that bikers 1 to 4 forced their passing while the truck driver had already his left turn signal flashing (some old people do it a long time in advance in preparation of a turn, making others think that they left it flashing by mistake). Mr. rossmeyer may have tried to do same as bikers 1 to 4, but exactly at the wrong time. How the cops can be sure that the turn signal was flashing before the turn. Any witnesses in addition of biker 6?

  3. 3 Shifter Aug 4th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Nobody will ever know for sure….

  4. 4 JJ Aug 4th, 2009 at 11:40 am

    It’s just a police report and it can be challenged, like any witness statement. RIP Bruce Rossmeyer.

  5. 5 just my opinion Aug 4th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    The one thing we all know is that no matter turn signal on or off it will.never bring back mr.rossmeyer. We should all remember to ride safe. This could of happened to any one of us. I have passed many times the same way. I will try and slow down in the future. No amount of time saved on a trip is worth anyones life.may Mr.Rossmeyer rest in peace and may God help his family in this hard time.

  6. 6 Mick Chadwick- Custom Aug 4th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Hi Bruce was a great guy and i had privelege of meetng him in Ormond- great businessman he did it his way and like it or not to some; it worked- he was jat the top of his acomplishments with dest daytona – he will be missed by many including us in good ol UK- all the best to his family and relatives- RIP Bruce from Mike Custom Cruisers UK

  7. 7 Lynn J - Jax FL Aug 4th, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Attended the funeral today, very sad affair. Thoughts are with the Rossmeyer family. RIP Bruce, you touched us all.

  8. 8 Solo Sam Aug 4th, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    RIP Bruce . When four bikes pass you and you are wanting to turn left , you would think the first thing to do is LOOK to see if any more bikes are coming with the group ! It just makes you sick to read about this . Another biker down ! Family and grandchildren left behind ……. how sad ……………

  9. 9 Chris Aug 4th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Apparently Bruce wasn’t wearing a helmet.

  10. 10 Motorcycle Monster Aug 4th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    It was a terrible accident.
    At this point it really doesn’t matter how it happened and placing blame will bring Mr Bruces’ family no comfort. Pray for his family, celebrate his great legacy, and do your best to ride safe and aware. We have lost far too many brothers and sisters while enjoying our wonderful hobby and favorite means of transportation. I know Bruce loved his Harleys and was doing exactly what made him most happy. He loved his trips to Sturgis and his time with the Hampsters.

    Their will never be another Bruce Rossmeyer. He was an original, an inspiration, and a man with a passion for motorcycling.
    Personally, I’ll have a little smile for Bruce every time I pass his dream store in Ormond.
    “Way to go Bruce, you moved the largest biker party on earth, to Destination Daytona”.

    God Bless Bruce, his family, and many friends in this sad time. We’ll all miss him.

    Motorcycle Monster

  11. 11 jspfc Aug 4th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Anytime anyone passes it is truely tragic. But come on Solo Sam, to try to blame this on the driver if all the facts provided are true?

    At some point we as riders have to take responsibilty and ride with responsibility. If that driver did have all his lights working and did use a turn signal then they did nothing wrong. They are actually better than your average driver these days.

  12. 12 tattooeddmike Aug 5th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    If I might add my comment, I did not know Mr. Rossmeyer, but wish his family peace in knowing that it is obvious that he was well respected, was sucessful in this life and of course loved by many.
    The driver of the truck, right or wrong, did what he did, that being the case, second guessing is just that,…….. and whether or not Mr. Rossmeyer was wearing a helmet was his buissnes. If anything, we all might want to learn from this situation. It is our choice to live this lifestyle we all love, to enjoy while we can, because this life can and sometimes does turn on a dime, ……. I mean no disrespect and hope everyone travels safely. This is my year of change because of a couple of spine surgeries, and I find that riding my bike the few times I’ve been able to, with and without my riding friends, so much more fufilling. Thanks again Cyril for posting this and for the news you bring, so that we can have this sounding board to share thoughts and ideas….

  13. 13 Solo Sam Aug 5th, 2009 at 8:18 am

    jfuk I didn’t place blame on anyone . Can’t you read ? I said wouldn’t you do a ” shoulder check ” to see if more bikes were coming ? If I am moving into a lane I check to see if it is clear . If there is a motorcycle in it then the lane is ” not clear ” . That’s about as simple as I can make it . I wasn’t there I was just stating a basic driving practice . Hopefully they will teach you this when you go for your drivers licence .

  14. 14 jspfc Aug 5th, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Stupid Sam.

    To answer question No. If I am on a 2 lane road making a left hand turn then NO I have no reason to check behind me if I have used my turn signal. I will make sure I am not crossing into the path of someone ahead of me but never behind. Why should I???? And that is nothing they teach you in driving school. Why dont you head back to bed buddy and stay off the roads.

  15. 15 tattooeddmike Aug 5th, 2009 at 9:51 am

    To jspfc,
    To me checking behind oneself before changing lanes is just self-preservation, I can give you one example: While in the Black Hills on Interstate 90 I came up on a group of bikes going 55+ and decided to pass, as the limit there was 70-75 mph….. I signaled, checked my blind spot to my left, and it was clear, and started to change lanes going to my left when suddenly I felt that going all the ways to the left side of the fast lane (where I was traveling in the slow lane),was going to get me in trouble…… it was like I just knew, or could feel that there was a presence or something, when some fool on a new bagger with what appeared to be new leathers went flying past me, like he had to be doing 100+ and damn near clipped my bars. Now I don’t claim to be a know it all, and I did not start riding yesterday, but if you want to live to see another day, you just have to check behind you or go with your gut feelings sometimes. I checked and didn’t see anyone. It just seems that if you are on a bike, you just have to ride like your invisable to everyone on the road.
    Just my 2+ cents……… ride safe.

  16. 16 NEWT Aug 5th, 2009 at 10:59 am

    There is a time and place to discuss what is safe and what is a bad risk….. this isn’t it. My heart goes out to the family and wish them all the best durining this difficult time. Let’s all step outside of ourselves for a breif time to respect a man and family that has made a permanent positive mark on the motorcycle industry.

  17. 17 jspfc Aug 5th, 2009 at 11:05 am


    I think you are talking apples and oranges if I understand you correctly. Interstate 90 is a 4 lane highway? If so, the incident described had to have been on a 2 lane road. You were going to pass someone and this person was making a full out left hand turn.

    These are 2 completely different situations.

  18. 18 bigalyts Aug 5th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Where is the LAW that says That you MUST Use Your Turn Signal ? That’s Why I look at every CAGER and think to myself “What is the Stupidest thing that He could do to get me Hurt? ” It is hard to Ride and think that in S. Fla. surrounded by all the “Blue Hairs” and Loaded Drivers. I Think Bottom Line is ” Mr. Rossmeyers number was up and it was His time PERIOD”……………………. God Bless Bruces Family !

  19. 19 tattooeddmike Aug 5th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    NEWT, You are right and I didn’t mean to go so far,……. RIP Mr. Rossmeyer, and may I offer his family and friends prayers to find peace.

  20. 20 nicker Aug 8th, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Le-me preface this by saying: Don’t know the circumstances or the people involved.

    “… There is a time and place to discuss what is safe and what is a bad risk….. this isn’t it…”

    No doubt, was also a tragedy.

    However, learning something from it makes discussing it a worth wile exercise.
    And so, this is precisely the place.

    There is a reason why a good Road Captain and his crew (a chase-man) will keep an organized run in a tight pack. So that when he makes a pass, every one in the pack follows close on his heels.

    Believe me, when several bikes pass in close succession, a driver is aware that there is traffic to his left.
    Leaving a gap between bikes in a group invites such disasters. That is precisely why an organized run will keep the stragglers packed up (like a chase-man).

    The most dangerous part of a run is when stragglers try to play catchup through traffic. A close formation keeps cars from splitting up the group. Experienced clubs know this and structure their rides accordingly.

    A good Road Captain never initiates a lane change unless the last guy is able to clear traffic. And it’s up to each rider to minimize the distance between bikes to keep traffic from splitting up the pack.

    So, in town, if the the first man makes the light everyone must follow, regardless what color it turns to. Consider the pack as one long vehicle.
    Suffice it to say this is not a strategy for the uninitiated, lame, or faint of heart.


  21. 21 Conrad Nicklus Aug 9th, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Todd 8080,

    Seriously? stupid ass question man. Come on, whether the signals worked or not you dont fucking pass someone like that. It was clearly BRs fault and no one else is to blame. Get over it. I am tired of bickering about how cars need to watch for bikers. Yes they do but we also have to watch for them, not cut tem off, flick them off, yell, scream or punch their vehicles.


  22. 22 BaggerBrad Sep 18th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Look the bottom line is that riding a motorcycle is fun, but dangerous! It is dangerous because we have to drive on the look out for cars, trucks, other bikers, dogs, cats, etc, because they all have the potential of causing us to crash! Automobiles have accidents and fender benders everyday! The challenge is that with motorcycles, a fender bender is a death sentence most of the time! Even when it is not our fault, we still die. So, my best defense is to not drive too fast, drive defensively and take my time! Back roads vs highways with fast cars, trucks, etc., makes for a more enjoyable ride, giving me a better chance of coming home alive at the end of my ride!

  23. 23 nicholas satschko Sep 26th, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Never met the man, I appreciate what he built and his love for the ride. 99.9% I am so careful yet even thought I have hundreds of thousands of miles on my rides, I still do one thing stupid and spend days asking ” “How did I do that and what were the circumstances?” Y\up, that is way it is called an “accident”. R.I.P/ Bruce, The helmet would not have helped. All the motorcyclist killed las year in ONTARIO wearing helmets. The ride with a brain bucket is ok, but the ride without is heaven. Choice is what it is about. Carl Welenda worked without a net. Died without a net. He coninues to live as wil Bruce.

  24. 24 Hopper Dec 30th, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Some of you may or may not know what the term “BlindSpot” means… There is a great chance that Bruce was “in” this area of the rear view mirror of the camper. You can VERY easily hide a car from view in the side view mirror of most vehicles. You look, but it appears nothing is there when actually there is. There is an angle that “hides” anything riding in this area, beware, the driver CAN’T see you in his side view mirror if you are in this “Blind” area of angle. Some driving classes will teach drivers to turn their center mirror at an extreme angle to help eliminate this section of “invisible” pavement. I can’t understand why the DOT doesn’t require side view mirrors to be designed without blind areas. It would surely save lives. I’m sure if Bruce had been asked how he would like to die, his answer would have been; “while riding his bike with his friends”. Sinc, Hopper

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Cyril Huze