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St. Michael Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash

Bruce E. Passer Jr., 38, was killed Friday when attempted to pass a series of vehicles on Hennepin County 116 south of Fletcher.

A St. Michael man is dead after trying to pass a series of vehicles on Hennepin County Road 116 near Pheasant Acres Golf Club Friday afternoon, according to police reports and a detailed account in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Bruce E. Passer, 38, was killed when he hit a car that moved into his path as he was traveling northbound in the southbound lane, south of Fletcher.

According to Corcoran Police Chief Sean Gormley, Passer was attempting to pass a series of vehicles–10 to 12 of them–when one of the cars turned in front of him, trying to head west into the entrance of the golf club. Passer’s motorcycle hit the wheels of the turning car.

Gormley told the Star Tribune’s Paul Walsh that Passer had a list of traffic violations, and was riding with a suspended license. He said Passer was moving in excess of the 55 MPH speed limit on the road.

No one else was hurt in the accident.

Trish September 07, 2011 at 01:41 PM
Mr. Sweeney, It is obvious that you cared for Mr. Passer and you are very upset, after reading your seven posts to this article. If you knew he wanted to make this ride in honor of his friend, I wish you would of offered him a ride, since his license was suspended. I will pray for his children, since this is all I can do for them. As a friend of Mr. Passer, I hope you can take your energy and give it to his children for their lost. I will also pray for your loss and the person driving the turning car, since I am sure they are very upset as well.
Kelly from St. Michael September 07, 2011 at 02:05 PM
I am so sorry you had to witness this accident. I can't even imagine how awful this was for you and everyone else involved. To the poor woman whose car he hit...I can only pray you find peace. My thoughts and prayer go out to the family that Mr. Passer left behind. As far as the article... I really don't find anything wrong with it. Mr. Sweeney even stated that Mr. Passer's licence was suspended...point blank he shouldn't have been driving it then.
Mike September 07, 2011 at 02:53 PM
Mr. Sweeney, It is more than obvious that you cared deeply for Mr. Passer. Everyone can see that. It is a shame that this had to happen. His children are in my prayers. Please remember the innocent woman that he had hit and the trauma she is going through right now. She did nothing wrong. She was just going to meet her husband, and her life is changed forever. this is clearly sad for all parties involved.
steve September 07, 2011 at 04:16 PM
Another rider I am sorry for your loss and very sad for the loss that his children have suffered. This accident was the cause of one person the blame should be placed on only one person. It is time for people to stand up and take the blame for their own actions and stop looking to blame someone else. This accident was the cause of the actions of one person. The facts of the story state what happened and the facts point to only one person at fault. The fact is he was driving on a suspended license, no that does not mean he should be forgotten or as you stated hunted but he was not legal to drive only one person’s fault he was driving. Fact that part of the road is a no passing zone, only one person at fault he was passing cars. Fact he passed more than one car (as you are taught in drives class and drivers exam), only one person made the choice to pass all of those cars. Fact he tried to stop, but he was going too fast and too late only one person made him go that fast. Fact this girl will have to live with the poor choices this man made for the rest of her life there is nothing she should have or could have done differently that day. A motorcycle is not a ten speed bike using just the front brake will not cause a motorcycle to flip. Fact that using just the front brake stops a motorcycle 60% fast than just the rear brake.
marty sweeney September 07, 2011 at 04:23 PM
perhaps it could of been noted my son, was in a hurry to get back to his children he loved after grieving the anniversary of the death of his friend, hailey age 8 devon age 14 dj age 17 melody age 18,
marty sweeney September 07, 2011 at 04:25 PM
as 4 the should of beens ever heard of the 13th commandment? Thy should not should thy self nor should thy should others. I thought empathy was for the living and sympathy was for the dead
marty sweeney September 07, 2011 at 04:43 PM
trish offered him a ride, another cold unable to care about a loss of life as for just simply that, he left on his own by himself no 1 around, the shallow depth of your ability to care shines through in your statement, why not tell the people who been crying uncontrollably that over and over you'd like that it seems since you chose to reveal your inability to show even a spec of a ability to show or understand love or what it is to show or feel it,
Mike September 07, 2011 at 04:54 PM
Marty, Nobody here is saying your son deserved this outcome. Everyone here is sympathetic towards your family and his children. Please hold and and with respect, project the same compassion with the innocent woman just driving to meet her husband. She is truly in pain and is suffering as well.
marty sweeney September 07, 2011 at 05:00 PM
as for the woman who turned into my son's way, my son would want you to know if god can forgive you, you need to forgive yourself because you i or nobody else is better than god. Our main concern was and is to protect his children who are innocent
marty sweeney September 07, 2011 at 05:01 PM
That is what kind of man bruce edward passer jr. was!
Was There. September 07, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Mr Sweeney, We were all in a hurry to get home that day. It was the Friday going into a long holiday weekend...of course we all wanted to get home to our respective families. However just because he was trying to get home to his family does not make it right, nor does it negate the fact that the choices he made ultimately caused his passing. As for the trauma clouding my observations, nothing could be further from the truth. Your son's choices changed other people's lives that day as well. I could go into detail of exactly what happened and what I saw after he hit her, but I don't think you really want to know what it was like. I know I wish that I didn't. But those memories will stay with all of us who stopped and tried to help your son...forever. And my heart goes out to the other driver involved...I pray that she finds peace. I understand you are grieving, but facts are facts. He WAS driving without a license (you brought it up, I didn't) and he DID make the decision to pass other vehicles when he shouldn't have. That isn't some made up 'drama' made to sell newspapers...it is what actually happened. Lastly, everyone here has expressed condolences to his children and to his family, so please don't accuse us of not having any sympathy for him nor empathy for those he left behind.
JP September 07, 2011 at 05:17 PM
This is a very sad story and it goes to show that some bad decisions were being made. Mr. Sweeney I feel for your family and friends. Its always sad to hear about anyone being taken away at a young age. As a motorcycle rider myself, I can honestly say that riders need to be EXTRA cautious while passing other cars. You always have to be ready for the unexpected. Like a car turning in front of you. It seems like a bad decision to me that Mr. Passer was trying to pass 10-12 cars at one time. While I was not at the accident scene, it would seem to me Mr. Passer would be 100% at fault. But instead of blasting someone who cannot defend himself, I would hope that this will be a lesson for people about their decisions. I hope that his children will know that he was a good man and learn from his mistake. We all have to stop being in such a hurry that we put ourselves and others in danger of not coming home alive.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) September 07, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Folks, let's keep the conversation on the level, and stay away from any personal attacks at either party involved in the accident or those posting messages here. We appreciate the conversation, but let's keep it on topic.
jen September 07, 2011 at 07:07 PM
We all loved my brother very much very much and the reason we are upset about the articles is not because it doesn't state the truth, but because it only states one side of it. there was way more mention of his past legal history than there needed to be. The article can state he had no license fine but really to drag out an incident from 2004 was irrelevant to the article at hand. Rather than to just say no license though it was felt by the family that the article was almost seeming to say this guy got what was coming to him. The family just wanted the other half of the coin to be printed also, the side where it was known that while he made many mistakes, he was also a good man with a huge heart he worked very hard every day to take care of his family and friends, he gave many people work when the had none places to sleep when the had none He raised me when our mother died. Bruce cared about people very much and if anyone knows the poor woman that got hit in the accident, the family would love to speak with her and we are in no way upset with her, we were told she was rather distraught and did ask an officer to tell her that Bruce would have said accidents happen its not your fault. He would not have in any way blamed her and neither does the family we would love to talk to her ourselves as well.
jen September 07, 2011 at 07:16 PM
may i also add that I did speak with the author of this article and will be speaking with him tomorrow so the other side can be heard and printed. My dad is just worked up.
jen September 07, 2011 at 07:28 PM
I personally would love to talk to someone who was there and i really need to hear about my brother last moments if someone could share them I keep running it through my mind and cant bear imagining him alone. He was my brother my best friend my rock my hero. That man and I spent almost everyday together for a lot of years of my life we worked together lots of times lived together, we hung out together so if anyone could tell me about his last moments please call 612 481 5589
jen September 07, 2011 at 07:40 PM
were you there? I do hope she is o.k.?
marty sweeney September 07, 2011 at 07:44 PM
the over all fact was why we responded was out of the best interest of his 4 children. We knew from the start it was a accident we never blamed the lady ever. It was the slandering and bashing of him we responded to, What was wrong with there was a accident involving a motor cyclist who died at the scene and the address and perhaps his name?
marty sweeney September 07, 2011 at 08:04 PM
thank you
marty sweeney September 07, 2011 at 08:13 PM
fact there are 2 differant versions being told fact our only interest was protecting his children, fact in 100's of others smiliar situations the accident address and name of victim is publisized, fact the children werent even considered
marty sweeney September 07, 2011 at 08:25 PM
point blank we wish he wasnt driving, point blank should of and would of and could of don't erase what happened
marty sweeney September 07, 2011 at 08:32 PM
as a witness that was there, we chose to believe you, at 1st we were led to believe he t-boned a van that was crossing the road, then when the story came out you said he passed 10 or so cars, that being the fact he couldnt of t-boned a car or van crossing the road, we were also told it was a blind intersection
Nicki September 08, 2011 at 01:39 AM
I was also there that day. I have to say I wish I wasn't. I am a rider also and I will probably never get on a bike again. I keep seeing it over and over again in my head. I can't get it to stop. Alot of people did stop and try to help him immediately but it was just to late. I feel for his family and for the lady involved in the accident. For his family, he was not alone. He wasn't with people that he knew but so many people were right there trying to help him. It was a tragic accident that didn't need to happen. My sympathy goes out to his family and his children.
Dan September 08, 2011 at 09:06 PM
We will remember you always Bruce
Was There. September 12, 2011 at 07:59 PM
Nicki, I have no idea if you're going to check this again or not. Just wanted to let you know that the one thing I find comfort in is there is nothing we could have done any differently for him. There are no woulda, coulda, shoulda or "if only" thoughts. It was what it was. The one thing I find so interesting about the situation is that this is something the people who saw it will always remember...I can still picture the people I was standing by and talking to. I just have no idea who they are, and I will never see them again. Total strangers that share such a life-changing experience and we have no idea who each other are...
Nicki September 12, 2011 at 11:07 PM
I absolutely agree with you. There was nothing we could of done differently for him. Its funny how people can make such a significant impact in your life and you don't know who they are or if you ran into them again you might not even know it. He was a couple of cars ahead of me when he took off in the Southbound Lane so I seen it from beginning to end and I will never forget it. I was on my way to work and I had to work all night. It was tough night. As I am sure it was for everyone. I was very impressed at how many people did stop to help. It shows that there are still good people out there.
cdk September 14, 2011 at 03:07 AM
Robin...your comments are far too private and personal to be posted so publicly. Jen posted a phone number. You should have respectfully called her with your remarks.
Was There. September 15, 2011 at 11:19 PM
I'm sure you DID have a rough night...I can't imagine having to work after seeing something like that. I have no idea where I was in relation to him before he started passing. Scared the crap out of me when he zipped by. I made a comment to myself about how not smart the decision was and looked up ahead to see if there were any cars coming in the southbound lane. Then I saw the van starting to turn. Ugh. I couldn't believe I was seeing what I was seeing when he hit. I pulled over right away (white work truck) and went up to him. Someone was already checking for a pulse. I wanted to do something...ANYTHING...but there wasn't anything to be done. I just hope if I'm ever in a situation like that, as many people stop for me...
Nicki September 16, 2011 at 12:17 AM
I remember your truck. I was a ways behind you. There were about three people trying to help him when I got up that far. I remember thinking the same thing when he pulled out. It happened so fast but it goes in slow motion in my head. Work was tough. I ran into a couple of the EMT's that were there and talking with them help some. But I don't ever want to see anything like that again.
marty sweeney September 16, 2011 at 10:09 PM
went to the accident site day before we heard from man who was riding with bruce on differant motorcycle, he said he passed 4 vehicles not 10 to 12 at a time,the 40 to 50 foot black skid he left in the road trying to stop wasnt mentioned either, a lady bicyclelist came up to me as i was there, told me he was 15ft from the bike which goes along with a far slower speed than was indicated, my son would want everyone to concentrate on heaking and going forward

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