VAIL — A Vail man was killed Saturday when his motorcycle collided with an elk.
Timothy Parker, 49, was traveling east on Interstate 70, near the Mesa County-Garfield County line at 6:40 p.m., according to the Colorado State Patrol.
Saturday was his 49th birthday, and he was on his way home from a motorcycle event in Grand Junction.
He was riding his 2012 Harley-Davidson in the left lane, and was moving back into the right lane after passing another vehicle. The elk was crossing the highway when Parker collided with it.
The motorcycle then traveled off the right side of the roadway and collided with a guardrail. Parker held on until he hit the guardrail, then was ejected from the motorcycle, state troopers said.
Parker sustained fatal injuries in the crash and died at the scene. He was wearing eye protection but not a helmet, state troopers said.
He was not speeding, and neither alcohol nor drugs contributed to the crash, state troopers said.
Parker was one of the owners of Meadow Mountain Plumbing and Heating, a local company. He and Fred Espinoza opened the firm from their homes on July 10, 2000. Parker and Espinoza were the owners and operators, and Maggie Parker handled the office.
They were quickly successful enough to start giving substantial support to local charities and launched the “Meadow Mountain Give Back” program. The goal is to “make a difference in the Vail Valley one charity at a time.”
In 2012 they donated $33,217.60 to the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate, according to their business website.
Esponoza and Parker were friends for more than a decade and a half, and business partners for 13 years.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org