Below is an earlier version of this report.
The motorcyclist who died after a collision with a Spokane Transit Authority bus on Friday has been identified as 52-year-old Thomas Robert Dale Samples. Samples died at the scene of the collision at Crestline Street and Euclid Avenue just after 1:30 p.m. The Medical Examiner found that Samples died of injuries to his chest, causing lacerations of his heart and aorta. Witnesses reported seeing Samples stand up after the collision, then crumple to the ground shortly after the collision. He was wearing a helmet. The Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a suicide. A spokeswoman there Thursday morning declined comment on the details of the case that led the pathologist to make that determination. Police said earlier this week that Samples ran a red light when he was struck by the bus, which had entered the intersection on a yellow light. There is a turn lane, but no turn signal, at the intersection. STA said they believe Samples’ death is the first fatal accident involving one of its buses. Police are still investigating the crash, and ask anyone with information who has not come forward to contact Crime Check at (509) 456-2233. Samples was born in San Diego, California in 1963 and moved to Moses Lake in 1968 after his father died, according to an obituary recently filed with Kayser’s Chapel & Crematory in Moses Lake. He moved around frequently as an adult, most recently living in Spokane. Samples worked as a mechanic, welder and tattoo artist, was a devout Christian, and created various forms of art, including a novel he was working to publish, the obituary says. He also loved riding and working on his motorcycle, which he named “Piglet.” Samples is survived by a daughter, Penelope; and sisters Gladys Shirey of Spokane, Catherine Conley of Moses Lake and Roberta Samples of Grants Pass, Oregon, the obituary says. A funeral is scheduled on Saturday morning at Guarding Angels Cemetery in Moses Lake.
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