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Novato Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash

Michael Kolb, 48, was pronounced dead after crash in rural Sonoma County; wife, who was riding on the back of the motorcycle, was was hospitalized.

By Bay City News Service

A Novato man was killed and his wife injured Sunday afternoon when the motorcycle they were riding in western Sonoma County struck a car, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Michael Kolb, 48, was riding east on Valley Ford Road on a 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle around 3:20 p.m. with his wife, Martha Kolb, 51, riding on the back, CHP Officer Marcus Hawkins said.

They crashed just east of Carmody Road when the motorcycle struck a vehicle turning left on to Valley Ford Road from a private driveway on the south side of the road, Hawkins said.

Michael Colb was pronounced dead on the scene by emergency personnel, while Martha Kolb was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital by paramedics.

The driver of the other vehicle, Cynthia Callahan, 77, of Petaluma, had complaints of pain only.

All three people involved in the collision were wearing proper safety equipment, Hawkins said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Alcohol is not
believed to have been a factor.

The crash site is about 13 miles northwest of Petaluma and 10 miles due west of Rohnert Park.

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited. 

Kathleen January 21, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Prayers are with the family. They are an incredible, wonderful family. God hold the children in your arms. My heart is breaking.
Brant January 21, 2013 at 04:15 PM
This is entirely too typical. The investigation will most likely show that the car turning left failed to yield to through-traffic. The driver of the car will likely report that she did not see the motorcycle. That may partly be due to the motorcycle having the sun behind it. It may also be partly due to car drivers often just not seeing motorcycles. My theory is that the drivers look, but the question in their minds is: Is there a car coming? The mind answers correctly: No.
Fred Pfeifer January 21, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Are having a bad day Brant. Let them find fault not you
mike jones January 21, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Bingo Brand and then they will sue the city for millions because there wasn't a sign that says hey morons make sure its clear before you turn. Oh also the lady is 77 years old so they will say why is a 77 year old driving
David McReynolds January 21, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Our thoughts and prayers to the Kolb family. There is never a time in such cases to throw verbal attacks around. As a rider and driver it is my responsibility with both vehicles to be aware of the environment around me. There are times such as this when there was probably nothing Mike could have done. God Bless him and keep him and be with his wife as she recovers physically, mentally and spiritually.
Christine January 21, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Condolences to the family.
Christina McNair January 21, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Prayers for the family...and that mom recovers...and that the children find healing in this awful tragedy.
Tom Connolly January 22, 2013 at 04:10 PM
As a 30+ year rider a agree with Brant's insightful analysis. A bike with the sun behind it, often does not present a large profile when viewed straight on. The car driver may have had a limited view coming out of that driveway. Judging the closing speed of the bike may have been a factor at the posted limit on that highway. When I have taken driver's training classes, one factoid that has stuck with me: Statistically a left turn crossing against traffic is the single most dangerous maneuver on the road. We should all keep this in mind. This story is tragic.
Kevin Moore January 22, 2013 at 06:26 PM
My condolences to the family and friends. I wish the wife a speedy recovery. My two closest calls were from cars pulling out of driveways. The first one would have been my fault, I was speeding. That experience turned me into a very slow street rider. The second was a driver backing out on a curve. I had to save my self both times. There are two kinds of drivers out there, those that don't see you and those who don't care. In West Marin, I prefer to ride behind sports cars as they make good cow catchers.
Patty Lufrano January 23, 2013 at 12:08 AM
"To the Kolb family, I'm so deeply sorry for your loss. I wish you peace and healing. To everyone else, please allow the family as much peace as possible during this difficult time. This is all still very new and painful for all, especially their children. Please give them respect they deserve and some space while they grieve the loss of their loved one."

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