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Bill Neilsen dies after Rt. 16 crash
THE sounds of Harley Davidson motorcycles roared yesterday afternoon at the overpass along Route 16 near the spot where Walter “Bill” Neilsen, owner of Harley Davidson Guam, crashed and died several hours earlier.
Officer A.J. Balajadia, Guam Police Department spokesman, said at about 2 a.m. yesterday, Neilsen, 67, of Latte Heights, was riding his 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle and was attempting to make a right turn from Route 16 to Alageta Road when the crash occurred. He was transported to Guam Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at around 3:20 a.m.
Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola performed an autopsy yesterday afternoon and said Neilsen died from facial fractures and brain contusions. A toxicology test was also conducted and will be completed in about two days.
News of Neilsen’s death shocked those who formed close friendships with him over the years.
“Bill has the heart of Jesus,” said Joe Blas, president of the Harley Owners Group. “We’re just heartbroken. We’re speechless.”
The group and several Harley Davidson motorcycle enthusiasts gathered at the crash site yesterday to place a wreath in honor of their friend, who Blas described as at the forefront when it comes to giving back to the community.
“He’s a pied piper. He’s really good to the community. He has never said no to the community. We’ve done a lot under his sponsorship. He just gives. And he doesn’t want anything back,” Blas said.
The organizations Neilsen and Harley Davidson contributed to include the Salvation Army, Guam Memorial Hospital, Naval Hospital, St. Dominic’s, the Fisher House, Special Olympics, and the Alee Shelter.
“One thing I like about Bill is he never says no to any fundraiser. He’s always there. God bless his soul. He calls Guam his home,” Blas said.
Another display of Neilsen’s compassion for the community is his decision to allow vendors to sell their items in the parking lot surrounding the Harley Davidson shop in Asan free of charge for the village’s flea market every Sunday.
“He gave a lot to the people of Asan and the island at large,” said Asan/Maina Mayor Benny San Nicolas upon hearing the news of Nielsen. San Nicolas has expressed his condolences to the Nielsen family.
Like Blas, the mayor said Neilsen is always there to help others. “He’s very gracious,” San Nicolas said.
Meanwhile, the Guam Highway Patrol Division is investigating the case to determine if speed and/or alcohol were factors in the fatal crash.
Balajadia said Neilsen was not wearing a helmet but also noted the roads were wet and slick when the incident occurred. His death marks the 11th traffic fatality for the year.