A member of the Gypsy Jokers, a notorious biker gang, died Saturday after crashing his motorcycle into a pickup truck in Spokane.
William C. Casteel, 47, was a known affiliate of the Jokers’ Tri-Cities chapter. He and three other members, including the chapter’s president, were arrested in April 2008 after a SWAT team raided their compound in Kennewick. They all were charged with possession of methamphetamine, a drug the gang is known to distribute.
A post on a Facebook page associated with the Jokers identified Casteel as the Spokane chapter president. A source familiar with the gang also said he was the president.
FBI Special Agent Christian Parker said he couldn’t confirm or deny that. No one could be reached for comment at the Jokers’ east Spokane clubhouse Monday afternoon.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office identified Casteel as the crash victim on Monday. According to the Sheriff’s Office, he was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle east on Broadway Avenue when a truck turned in front of him near Havana Street.
Casteel is believed to have been speeding; he laid his bike down and slid a long distance before striking the truck, Deputy Mark Gregory said. The driver of the truck has not been cited, although the crash is still under investigation, Gregory said.
Casteel was pronounced dead at the scene.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.