Truckee motorcyclist killed over long weekend |

Truckee motorcyclist killed over long weekend

The Memorial Day weekend came to a tragic close when a Truckee woman died after losing control of her motorcycle on Highway 89 several miles south of Sierraville on Monday, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Marianne Pinelli, 55, was riding her motorcycle north on Highway 89 just before 4 p.m. on Monday when the vehicle in front of her slowed to make a left turn into the Cold Creek Campground. Pinelli applied the rear brake hard and ended up skidding before she was thrown from her 2002 Honda motorbike. She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the CHP. No other vehicles were involved in the accident.

The investigation into the crash is continuing, CHP officials said.

While the motorcycle accident was the only fatal incident over the weekend, the increased traffic kept law enforcement agencies busy during the holiday. The California Highway Patrol, which is one week into its nationwide “Click it or Ticket” seat belt safety campaign, gave out more than 200 tickets and made six arrests for driving under the influence in the area during the three-day weekend, according to Officer Kirk Bromell.

“We wrote a whole lot of tickets,” Bromell said.

The CHP’s seat belt campaign continues until June 5.

Meanwhile, four rafters running the rapids on the Truckee River near the Nevada state line had a close call on Sunday. All four went overboard into the frigid river at a turbulent section of the Truckee, but were not injured and suffered only mild hypothermia.

“There is a significant rapid there at the state line and they got stuck there,” said Doug Rinella, chief of the California Department of Forestry Fire Department in Truckee.

California CDF, the Nevada Department of Forestry and the Reno Fire Department personnel arrived at the scene, and located the rafters, who had already rescued themselves. Rinella said he was surprised the group emerged from the water unharmed.

Around town, the Truckee Police Department made two DUI arrests and issued 63 tickets for speeding and failure to use a seat belt during the holiday. But beside those incidents, the weekend was fairly uneventful, said Truckee police Lt. Jeff Nichols.

“We weren’t really that busy,” Nichols said. “Actually, it was a pretty quiet weekend.”

Donner Lake, which is typically the epicenter of Memorial Day activities, was unusually quiet. The police had no reports of drunken boating or any citations at the lake, Nichols said.

“I think the [cold] temperature made a difference,” Nichols said.

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