A petty officer died earlier this month after a motorhome struck his motorcycle in Washington state.
Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Russell A. Blake, 24, was riding a motorcycle around 3:15 p.m. on Sept. 7 on Ault Field Road, just outside Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, according to Navy and Washington State Police officials.
Heading east, he tried to pass the recreational vehicle’s right side, according to police spokeswoman Trooper Heather Axtman.
Although Blake might not have realized it, the RV was swinging wide left to make a right turn. The petty officer hit the brakes as the large vehicle turned into his path, ejecting him over the motorcycle’s handlebars, Axtman said.
Blake was struck by the RV and pronounced dead at the scene.
Surveillance video from nearby businesses confirmed both the chronology of events and witness accounts about the accident, Axtman added.
He was wearing a helmet.
Navy records indicate that Blake is at least the 15th sailor to die in an off-duty motorcycle accident during the federal fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30.
Originally from New York, Blake enlisted in 2014, according to his service records.
He arrived in mid-2018 at Whidbey Island following a tour on board the amphibious assault ship Essex.
Funeral arrangements are pending at Donohue Cecere Funeral Directors in Westbury, New York.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.