Motorcyclist killed in crash on Oakdale-Waterford Highway

A 38-year-old Waterford man was killed Monday night on the Oakdale-Waterford Highway when a driver pulled into the path of his motorcycle, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision occurred about 7:10 p.m. at the intersection with Rice Road. Denair resident Dianne Pierce, 61, was at the Rice Road stop sign, preparing to turn left to head south on the highway.

Thomas Butler, riding a 2006 Suzuki motorcycle, was traveling north on the highway, approaching the intersection, when Pierce pulled out. The CHP said she admitted being blinded by the sun when she turned onto the highway, so she failed to see Butler.

The vehicles collided, and Butler was thrown from his motorcycle, during which time his helmet came off. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Pierce’s vehicle caught fire, but she was able to get out. She was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto with moderate injuries.

That part of the Oakdale-Waterford Highway was closed as emergency responders worked the scene. It is about halfway between Oakdale and Waterford.

The Modesto Fire Department and the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District were on hand.

John Holland covers breaking news and has been with The Modesto Bee since 2000. He has covered agriculture for the Bee and at newspapers in Sonora and Visalia. He was born and raised in San Francisco and has a journalism degree from UC Berkeley.