Crime

Motorcyclist dead in crash on Guide Meridian Road north of Bellingham, authorities say

A motorcyclist is dead after a crash on Guide Meridian Road near the intersection of Laurel Road Friday afternoon, according to the Washington State Patrol.
A motorcyclist is dead after a crash on Guide Meridian Road near the intersection of Laurel Road Friday afternoon, according to the Washington State Patrol. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A motorcyclist is dead after crashing Friday into the side of an SUV on Guide Meridian Road near the intersection of Laurel Road, the Washington State Patrol said.

The motorcyclist, a 68-year-old man from Lynden, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Sgt. Mark Francis with the state patrol. He was later identified in a state patrol report issued Friday night as Wilfred C. Maas.

Dr. Gary Goldfogel, Whatcom County medical examiner, said in an email an autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

The crash happened just before 3 p.m. when Hermelinda Platon-Lopez, 30, of Bellingham, who was driving a white Dodge Durango, was turning left onto Guide Meridian from the east side of the road, Francis said.

As Platon-Lopez pulled into the street, she stopped in the right-hand northbound lane, Francis said. Maas, who was riding a Honda 750 motorcycle, hit the side of the SUV, Francis said. He was wearing a helmet.

Platon-Lopez had five children with her in the vehicle, ages 9 and younger, Francis said. No one in the car was injured, he added. Troopers do not believe she was driving impaired, and she was not arrested.

The cause of the crash was listed in the state patrol report as failure to yield to the right of way, and charges are pending an investigation.

The crash originally blocked both northbound lanes of Guide Meridian, along with the center lane and the left southbound lanes, Francis said.

One northbound lane later opened, according to a video posted to Twitter around 3:30 p.m. by the state Department of Transportation.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan

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