Crystal Bay woman dies in motorcycle accident |

Crystal Bay woman dies in motorcycle accident

Jenny Goldsmith
Sierra Sun

A Crystal Bay woman died Saturday after losing control and ejecting from her motorcycle while speeding around a curve on Highway 89 north several miles south of Calpine.

Gina Casanova, 42, was riding southbound at 5:43 p.m. on June 7 at approximately 65 mph when she failed to negotiate a 35 mph curve, causing her to drift into the northbound lane, said CHP Officer Steve Skeen.

Charles Dayton, 53, of Blairsden, Calif. was rounding the curve heading northbound when he observed Casanova traveling into his lane, Skeen said.

As Dayton applied his brakes to avoid the oncoming vehicle, Casanova crossed in front of Dayton, lost control and ejected from the rolling motorcycle, Skeen said.

Dayton subsequently traveled off the roadway, but sustained no injuries, and upon examination, CHP officers determined no contact was made with the motorcycle, said CHP Officer Robert Holland.

Casanova was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, and was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner M. Boyd, Holland said.

“Basically Dayton was in the wrong place at the wrong time and did an outstanding job at avoiding a collision that could have been fatal for both drivers,” Holland said.

The collision is still under investigation to determine Casanova’s level of intoxication, but Holland said “the bottom line is don’t mix alcohol with riding.”

Another fatal motorcycle accident occurred several weeks ago on Donner Pass Road near Kingvale when Terry Spink, 51, attempted to brake his Harley Davidson while following a garbage truck that was turning into the Kingvale Lodge driveway, according to a CHP report.

Spink ejected from his motorcycle before the vehicle slid underneath the truck, and he was transported to Renown Medical Center in Reno where he was pronounced dead, Skeen said in the report.

Holland said motorcyclists should reduce speeds and take precaution when traveling on area roadways where conditions are constantly changing throughout the year.

“There’s sand, rocks, dirt, snow ” riders need to be aware of the elements,” Holland said.