Fatal Crash on Fremont Avenue

A motorcycle — which police said was stolen — lies toppled on Fremont Avenue near Buena Vista on Wednesday morning. The rider, whose name was not released, was killed at the scene, South Pasadena police said. Photo by Skye Hannah

A Los Angeles man riding a stolen motorcycle was killed Wednesday morning when he lost control of the bike and collided with a truck as both headed north along Fremont Avenue near Buena Vista Street, South Pasadena police said.

The man, identified by the county coroner as Brandon Jay Valdies, 39, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the 9:50 a.m. incident in the 300 block of Fremont — a stretch that’s notorious for its frequent speeders, residents and police said.

Both lanes of Fremont, between Columbia and Buena Vista, were closed until just after 1 p.m. while officers investigated the incident, police said.

“Witnesses told South Pasadena Police officers that the motorcycle was traveling northbound, at a high rate of speed and attempted to pass slower traffic on the right,’’ a police news release said.

“At some point the motorcyclist lost control, struck a portion of the street curb and ultimately collided into a large truck that was also traveling northbound. …

“A preliminary investigation revealed the motorcycle involved in this incident was recently reported stolen out of the City of Burbank.’’

Cpl. Craig Phillips of the South Pas police was the first officer on the scene, and told the Review he knew the accident was a fatal one as soon as he emerged from his squad car.

Investigators survey the fatal crash scene Wednesday morning on Fremont Avenue. The box truck that the motorcycle crashed into is at the left. Photos by Skye Hannah

“We got a call of a traffic accident, truck versus motorcycle, which never sounds good, at Fremont and Columbia,’’ Phillips told the Review.

“I responded Code 3 (lights and sirens), and I saw immediately that it didn’t look good. I tried to give a little bit of first aid, seeing if he was responding to touch or anything, but it was clear when I got out of the car he was dead. The Fire Department pronounced him dead pretty quickly.’’

Phillips said the motorcycle was stolen out of Burbank in November.

He did not know if the truck — a white box truck — was in motion at the time the motorcycle collided with it.

“We don’t know to what extent the truck was involved, what role the truck played,’’ Phillips said.

There were no charges filed as of Wednesday evening. The investigation was continuing, Phillips said.

Valdies’s body was taken to county coroner’s office for further investigation.

Tony Ryan, who lives in the 300 block of Fremont, told the Review he was in his garage at the time of the accident.

“I heard a loud sound, I came out of my garage, saw the truck pulled over and then saw a body on the street,’’ he said. “The cops arrived shortly after.’’

Ryan said he went for a closer look and that, “There was no life when I walked over.’’

“I’m still pretty shook up,’’ he said. “It’s sobering to see somebody lying face down dead. I said a few Hail Marys.’’

With Fremont Avenue closed off, a South Pas officer redirects traffic at the scene of Wednesday’s fatal accident. The street was closed from around 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ryan also said that stretch of Fremont is known for its speeders.

“(The street is) very dangerous,’’ he said. “The traffic should be going 25 (actually, the speed limit is 30) but it’s going 45-60. It’s horrible. We had two or three accidents last year. … This is a citywide thing on Fremont. They’re using Fremont as a freeway.’’

Phillips agreed, saying that that section of Fremont is an area of concern for the SPPD.

“It’s definitely one of the traffic focuses of our department,’’ Phillips said. “When we have an officer free we tend to stay on that street to see if we can catch anyone speeding.’’

Police said that investigators continued to analyze physical evidence and follow up with potential witnesses.

Police also asked that anyone who witnessed the incident call the SPPD at (626) 403-7270.