Modesto husband and wife killed in motorcycle collision in Sonora

A husband and wife were killed in a motorcycle collision on State Route 108 in Sonora on Saturday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Justin Brasiel, 48, was driving his 2002 Harley-Davidson motorcycle with his wife, Nikole Brasiel, 45, when it collided with another vehicle in SR-108’s intersection with South Washington Road at about 4:30 p.m.

The motorcycle failed to stop at a red light and hit a southbound vehicle, ejecting the couple, who came to a rest on the roadway, according to a CHP statement.

Several bystanders rushed to the couple’s aid and began lifesaving effots. The Brasiels were taken to Adventist Health Sonora, where they died. Both were reported to be wearing helmets at the time of the collision. No one else was injured.

The couple are survived by their two daughters, 26-year-old Caly Brasiel and 20-year-old Emma Brasiel, said Nikole’s father, Emil Rusca.

Rusca said his daughter grew up in Modesto and went to Modesto High School. After marrying her husband, the couple bought a home in town and raised their daughters here.

Rusca said he wanted people to remember his daughter as a good mother. “The kids were, you know, seemed like they’re trying to cope with it and deal with losing both your parents in a split second, it was pretty tragic,” he said. “They’re trying to deal with it… I think she did a pretty good job raising those kids.”

“We would like to emphasize to the motoring public when entering an intersection to watch for other vehicles and pedestrians,” read a statement written by Officer Steve Machado, public information officer for the CHP’s Sonora area office. “Also, obey all traffic signals and stop for the red light. If the traffic signal switches to yellow, do not accelerate to enter the intersection.”

Machado added that even if a traffic signal turns green, it’s a good idea to be sure all other vehicles have stopped before entering an intersection.

“The motorcycle community should be aware that people in cars and trucks do not see you as they would bigger vehicles,” read Machado’s statement. “It is recommended to wear bright reflective clothing to be more visible. It is important for motorcyclists to minimize their risks by riding responsibly; always wearing a helmet and other protective gear.”