Ken Vetrovec, former chairman of the Racine County Board, was killed Monday in a motorcycle accident near Ely, Nevada.
Vetrovec was on vacation, riding his red 2000 Indian Chief across country on historic Route 66. His trip started on June 22, and he reached the endpoint of Route 66 in Santa Monica, CA, on Sunday.
On Monday, he headed toward home on US 395, the East Sierra Scenic Highway, having logged 3,500 miles. His final blog post Monday morning is here. The pictures, left, are from the blog, Motorcycle Riding Route 66, which he created to chronicle his trip. As he wrote at the start, "If you share my love of Route 66, I hope that our paths will cross. If not on the road, then on this blog."
The Nevada Highway Patrol said the accident took place on US 6, about 37 miles east of Ely; Vetrovec's motorcycle drifted off the highway on a curve and struck a steel mile marker. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Trooper Jim Stewart recovered Vetrovec's camera from the crash site and said he apparently was taking pictures because the last image on his camera showed the curve where he crashed. He was wearing a helmet.
Vetrovec, 59, of Caledonia, was executive director of the Gateway Technical College Foundation. He served six terms on the County Board, representing the 15th District. He lost a bid for re-election in 2006.
He joined Rotary in 1979, was a member of Rotary West, and was planning to volunteer at the Great Midwest Dragon Boat Festival this weekend. Vetrovec, an Eagle Scout, was a 2007 recipient of the Cliff Dochterman Award given to a Rotarian for distinguished and dedicated service to Scouting.
He leaves his wife, Janet, and sons, David, Brian and Paul.
Bryan Albrecht, Gateway Technical College president, said today, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Ken's family as he has led an inspirational journey in life. The Gateway community is deeply saddened by his loss and honors Ken for his compassionate service to others.
“Ken was dedicated to Gateway, our students and the Foundation. He will be missed, but his efforts to continually build the Foundation and its resources for the benefit of our students and community will be his legacy.”