April 15, 2011 in City

Coroner: Motorcyclist shot in head committed suicide

 

A motorcyclist who died of a gunshot wound to the head following a crash on Highway 23 committed suicide, authorities said today.

Johnny H. Winter, 56, of Spokane, shot himself after crashing his 2006 Harley Davidson FXST motorcycle into a rock embankment Tuesday night off state Highway 23, about three miles south of Sprague.

“It’s just a real tragedy,” said Whitman County Coroner Pete Martin, who conducted the autopsy today.

Winter was only slightly injured in the crash, and his motorcycle was damaged but not destroyed, Martin said.

He walked about 25 to 30 feet from the bike before shooting himself. A bullet removed from his brain matched a firearm found at the scene, Martin said.

Martin said Winter, a father of three, had depression problems, but investigators don’t know if the suicide was spontaneous or planned.


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