Waukesha man charged in motorcyclist's death

Published on: 12/10/2013

A 23-year-old Waukesha man has been charged with vehicular homicide, allegedly causing a motorcyclist's death in New Berlin on Oct. 11.

Edi Gomez, 444. S. Washington Ave. #4, was charged on Dec. 3 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle and operating on a suspended license, causing death.

Gomez could face up to 16 years in prison and $35,000 in fines if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, officers from the New Berlin Police Department were dispatched at about 7 p.m. on Oct. 11 to a crash at the intersection of South Racine Avenue and West Mill Creek Trail in New Berlin.

Officers noted in the complaint that an SUV was overturned at the intersection and a motorcycle was laying nearby. James Solveson, the motorcyclist, was pronounced dead at the scene by a deputy medical examiner.

A witness told police in the complaint that Solveson was thrown from his bike after the crash and skidded headfirst into a metal sign pole.

Another witness said in the complaint that the SUV was following the motorcycle so closely that it made her uncomfortable. She said that the SUV seemed to drive into the ditch and then overcorrect back onto the roadway, striking the motorcycle.

The driver of the SUV was identified as Gomez, who was taken by helicopter to Froedtert Hospital for treatment, the complaint states. Gomez allegedly gave police permission to search his phone. Police noted in the complaint that someone seemed to be in the process of calling a McDonald's restaurant just before the crash happened.

Gomez told police in the complaint that he worked at a McDonald's in Muskego and was in a rush to get there because he was late for his shift. He initially claimed in the complaint that his vehicle struck the motorcycle after he lost control of it, but later admitted he was trying to pass the motorcycle using the gravel shoulder of the roadway. He said his tires caught the gravel and he veered into the motorcycle, according to the complaint.

Gomez is being held on a $500,000 cash bond, according to court records, and was expected to appear in court on Dec. 10.