Motorcyclist who died on US 41 Sunday identified

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On Sunday afternoon, an SUV collided with a motorcycle, bringing traffic to a crawl and leaving witnesses stunned in south Fort Myers.

Jeff Avery works at a motorcycle shop right across the street from the crash on South Tamiami Trail and Michael G. Rippe Parkway.

“Like anything it’s like oh God no. Don’t let it..not again. Not another motorcyclist,” Avery said.

“By the time I turned my head and came around the corner, the accident had already happened. I didn’t see how it happened but we could see it was a motorcyclist and we could see a body in the middle of the intersection,” Avery added.

According to officials, the driver of the SUV was attempting to turn left on a green light, onto US 41. The motorcyclist, identified as 63-year-old James Gruetzmacher, failed to stop at a red light and proceeded into the intersection, colliding with the side of the SUV as the driver turned. He was ejected from the motorcycle and run over by the SUV.

Gruetzmacher died at the scene. Crews blocked off all northbound lanes and diverted drivers onto Michael G Rippe Parkway.

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