Archive for Friday, June 2, 2006

Motorcyclist dies at KU Med Center, friends say

June 2, 2006

Gary Freitas, the motorcyclist injured in a May 21 accident in Baldwin City, died at 12:30 p.m. Friday, according to several of his friends.

Freitas had been showing improvement until he suffered a massive heart attack Wednesday afternoon while recuperating from his injuries at the Kansas University Medical Center, according to family friends.

"He's gone," said Deb Shafer, a friend of Freitas'.

Bill Fisher, Freitas' friend who was riding with him at the time of the accident, confirmed Friday that Freitas had died. He was 66 years old.

"I just got a call. Gary passed away at 12:30 p.m.," said Fisher, adding that Freitas wouldn't have wanted to live the way he was in the hospital. "Nobody would."

Neither Shafer nor Fisher knew if Freitas had been taken off life support. That decision was to have been made Friday. Fisher said he knew there was a meeting at 1 p.m. to discuss the possibility.

Freitas suffered numerous injuries during the accident, which occurred around 1 p.m. May 21 in the intersection of U.S. Highway 56 and Eighth Street. Freitas was westbound on U.S. 56 when a westbound vehicle driven by Richard Ridley, 52, Topeka, turned left in front of Freitas and struck the motorcycle, according to the Kansas Highway Patrol, which investigated the incident.

The KHP has contacted Fisher several times and is continuing its investigation. As of yet, the KHP hasn't released details or any possible citations or charges resulting from the accident.

The Signal will update this story online as information becomes available. There will be a story in next week's Signal, also.

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