WASHINGTON TWP — A 51-year-old man was killed Saturday night when he lost control of his motorcycle in his back yard and crashed down a ravine, state police said.
The 2007 Harley-Davidson about 9:40 p.m. landed on Rodney L. Unverzagt, killing him, according to investigators.
Butler County Deputy Coroner Larry Barr pronounced Unverzagt dead at the scene of severe head and neck injuries. He was not wearing a helmet.
Authorities said there was a family get-together that night at Unverzagt’s house in the 2000 block of Branchton Road. During the gathering, a fire was built in the back yard.
Unverzagt decided to move his motorcycle away from the fire. He slowly drove it through the yard between a pond and ditch, police said.
“He might have gotten too close to a ravine and the bike slipped or tipped,” Barr said. “The bike slid down, and he went off it. The bike then flipped on top of him.”
Barr estimated the ravine is about 4 feet deep.
“It was a just freak accident,” he said.
There was no autopsy but authorities are awaiting the results of toxicology tests. Investigators said they don’t know if Unverzagt had been drinking before the accident.
The North Washington Volunteer Fire Department assisted police.
The William F. Young Funeral Home in West Sunbury is handling funeral arrangements.