Friends, Family Mourn Desert Crash Victims

By Jeff Nguyen, Artie Ojeda, Eric S. Page and R. Stickney Contributed to This Report
|  Monday, Nov 15, 2010  |  Updated 9:10 PM PDT
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Images: 5 Dead, 6 Hurt in Desert Pile-up

Tonya Trayer

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Friends, Family Mourn Desert Crash Victims

The shock is still setting in for the members of an East County motorcycle club.

Deadly Crash Kills 5

A group of 12 motorcyclists were traveling in the Imperial Valley when they were struck by a car.
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The shock is still setting in for the members of an East County motorcycle club.

The president of the Saddletramp Motorcycle Club arrived at UCSD Medical Center just after noon Monday to visit his injured friends.

"I'm still numb," said Carl "Coyote" Smith.

Four people were killed in the crash on Saturday on state Route 98 just west of El Centro when they were hit head-on by a Dodge Avenger.

Smith was not allowed to personally visit the patients. He said three of the victims are currently in surgery. 

Friends and loved ones were reaching out via the club's Facebook page.

"My love and condolences to the Greeny and Trayer families, as well as condolences to all the families that lost a loved one or had someone injured in this terrible tragedy," posted Yolanda Anna Beltran Constable. "I know you are all like a family and you've lost some of your own."

"Seldom am I at a loss for words, but I don't think I can truly say anything that would make this terrible loss better," posted Nancy Nemecek. "My heartfelt condolences to all the Saddletramps, their family and friends."

A trust fund has been established to help the family of El Cajon resident Tonya Trayer, who was killed in the crash. Her husband, Wilson, was seriously injured. Also killed in Sunday's crash were Lance Heath, 43, and Amy Heath, 36, of Alpine; and Bill Miller, 57, of Ramona.

Kim Edwards of UCSD Medical Center said that crash victims Kelly Halley and William Barnes remain in serious condition, and that  Melanie Barnes is in critical but stable condition.The hospital has not been authorized to give a condition update on Wilson Trayer.

Edwards said Carlos Ramirez Bobadillo, who was driving the vehicle that slammed into the bikers, is still at the hospital. She said he is in fair condition. Ramirez was arrested Saturday at the hospital for investigation of misdemeanor drunken driving, but he was not booked into a jail. He was technically released from custody on Sunday, although he remained hospitalized in with a fractured head and leg, and a scalp laceration, California Highway Patrol Officer DeAnn Goudie said.

The California Highway Patrol said that Ramirez was not considered at fault for the crash 80 miles east of San Diego. Authorities are still looking for the driver of a gold Honda Civic. The driver of that car was trying to pass the line of motorcycles on the two-lane road but lacked clearance to get back into the right lane and wound up driving head-on toward the Dodge Ramirez was driving, according to investigators.

The collision also killed a passenger inside the Dodge, 31-year-old Ana Lilia Gonzalez of Mexicali, Mexico. Witnesses said the Dodge lost control trying to avoid the Honda, then plowed into the pack of motorcycles.

Trayer is also survived by three children, including a 21-year-old daughter. Donations can be made through the Union Bank of El Cajon, at 580 North 2nd St.

A memorial is planned for Trayer on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Renegade Bar and Grill on Old Highway 80 east of Lake Jennings.

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