Harley Davidson shop owner killed in crash - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Harley Davidson shop owner killed in crash

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The island is mourning the loss of Harley Davidson owner Bill Neilsen, who died after he crashed on his motorcycle while heading home early this morning in Dededo.

"I'd just like to say it's just a sad day," expressed Joe Moore. "All the prayers we can do for the man is all welcome."

The island community was shocked to wake up to the news this morning that the man known as "the godfather of the motorcycle community" had been killed while doing what he loved to do. Arthur "Bill" Neilsen was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle just before 2 this morning. He had nearly reached his home in Latte Heights, when he struck the median along Route 16 and Alegata Road, lost control and crashed. Police are still investigating the cause but confirm he was not wearing a helmet.

Neilsen for years has publicly spoken against legislation that would reestablish the law making it mandatory for all motorcyclists to wear helmets. A special wreath laying ceremony was held at the crash site this afternoon.

Harley Owners Group vice director for the Mariana Island's chapter Angelo Gombar told KUAM News, "With his loss we are all in shock and right now everyone is just wondering what's going to happen...if anything happened in the group, he was always there. If any bike went down, he'd lead the pack and go check them, and what I know about Bill is he was always kind."

Neilsen hailed from New Hampshire and retired from the Navy before coming to Guam and marrying his wife, Dee. He opened up the Guam Harley Davidson Store and became a well respected businessman in the community.

Gil Owen enjoyed a friendship with Neilsen for nearly twenty years and told KUAM News, "You can't say anything about bad about Bill. He always helped everybody and anybody. Don't matter what they wrote, he was always there for everybody, he and Dee both. And they always he always came through."

Neilsen was a man who loved the Chamorro culture, food and music. He went on dozens of rides with local motorcycle groups in nearby islands as well as cross-country in the U.S. Harley Owners Group member Joe San Agustin says Neilsen was even planning a big ride for January in Palau. He recalls the first time he met Neilsen, saying, "Bill came to me in 2007 and said, 'Joe, let's put the Harley's Owner Group in order and when we wrote the constitution and bylaws and it's going.'"

He added, "The community has lost the Harley Davidson icon.  Bill is, if you think of Harley Davidson, you will think of Bill Neilson.:

He's a husband, father and brother who will be missed by many. Moore to his friend, "Rest in peace brother, rest in peace. We got this!"

Neilsen was 67 years old. An autopsy performed this afternoon shows Neilsen died of a skull fracture and a brain contusion.

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