Monday, July 5, 2010
The planning director for the city of Perris was killed in northern San Diego County when he lost control of his vintage motorcycle and hit a pickup truck head-on, a coroner said today.
Bradley Robert Eckhardt, 48, a Temecula resident, died about 10:30 a.m. Sunday in the crash on Lilac Road south of West Lilac Road in Valley Center, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office said.
Eckhardt was riding his 1969 RD350 Yamaha motorcycle southbound when, for unknown reasons, he lost control of the bike and slid into the path of an oncoming Dodge Ram 2500 pickup. The truck driver was unable to stop before hitting Eckhardt, the Medical Examiner's Office said.
Paramedics were unable to resuscitate Eckhardt. The California Highway Patrol investigated the crash.
Eckhardt bought the motorcycle earlier this year and was excited to ride it, said Mark Yarbrough, a Perris city councilmember and a colleague of Eackhardt for more than eight years.
When Eckhardt first got his motorcycle, he brought a picture of it to city hall to show Yarbrough, who is also a motorcycle enthusiast, he recalled. "We'd always talked about going for ride," he said. "I was really looking forward to riding with him."
The victim is survived by a wife and three children, his colleagues said.
When City Hall reopens from the holiday tomorrow, Richard Belmudez, the city manager, will have to choose who will take over the position of the late planning director. Two choices are available; To promote somebody working for the city now or to hire somebody new, city officials said.
Eckhardt was a vital member of the city's staff, said Joe Vargo, a spokesperson for the city. "This is a really devastating thing for the City of Perris."
In May, Eckhardt's team of developers won awards for its Commercial Facade Improvements, its restoration of the Bank of Perris and Train Depot, and its plans to make the city sustainable, Vargo said.