He planned to get married and work with his dad. Then a motorcycle crash took his life

James Bockmon, 25, died in a motorcycle crash Saturday night. His girlfriend of seven years Jade Kintz, 26, survived the crash.
James Bockmon, 25, died in a motorcycle crash Saturday night. His girlfriend of seven years Jade Kintz, 26, survived the crash. Jade Kintz

Friends are raising money to honor a Sacramento man who had plans to marry his girlfriend of seven years and work alongside his father but died in a motorcycle accident Saturday night.

James Bockmon, 25, was riding his motorcycle northbound on Bass Lake Road in El Dorado Hills with girlfriend Jade Kintz, 26, when he approached the curve just south of Magnolia Hills Drive “at an unsafe speed and attempted to slow rapidly,” according to the California Highway Patrol.

Bockmon lost control of the motorcycle and it fell on its side, sliding into the southbound lane and striking a Honda Accord, police said. The driver of the Honda Accord tried to avoid hitting the motorcycle but was unable to do so.

The collision threw both Bockmon and Kintz to the right shoulder of the southbound side, where Bockmon died, according to the CHP.

Kintz was also injured and flown to a trauma hospital. She underwent multiple surgeries and is expected to make a full recovery, according to James’ father, Matthew Bockmon.

She broke a leg, an arm, a hip, most of her ribs and her collarbone, according to Kintz’s cousin, Hailey Thomas, 21.

When Kintz woke up in the hospital, the first thing she reportedly said was “James saved me.” He had positioned his body in a certain way to protect her, Matthew Bockmon said.

“James would have done anything for her, and I think he did,” the elder Bockmon said.

Kintz was “very heartbroken over the loss of James,” Thomas said. “They were each other’s missing puzzle pieces.”

The fatal crash came just two days ahead of the scheduled opening of a safety deposit box that held a ring from James Bockmon’s grandmother. The elder Bockmon said his son was planning to give the ring to Kintz.

Matthew Bockmon still went to pick up the ring Monday morning — by himself.

“(James) wasn’t there with me. It was tough,” he said. “He wanted Jade to have the ring, and that’s where it’s going to go.”

Matthew Bockmon, a federal public defender, described his son as a compassionate man who “had the ability to relate to lots of different kinds of people.”

James Bockmon was born in Sacramento, grew up in Fair Oaks and attended Bella Vista High School, according to his father. He graduated early to work full time as a machinist.

But after injuring his knee in a bicycle accident, he switched careers. He interned in the Placer County Public Defender’s Office under a licensed investigator for approximately two years and was “on the verge” of becoming a private investigator himself, his dad said.

“He was very talented,” Matthew Bockmon said. “He would have been an excellent investigator.”

The elder Bockmon said he was planning to retire in July and work with his son at the Placer County Public Defender’s Office. He’s still going through with his part of that plan.

A GoFundMe fundraiser was set up Monday in James Bockmon’s and Kintz’s honor by Alex Hithe, one of James Bockmon’s lifelong friends, according to Matthew Bockmon.

He is not involved in the fundraiser but said most of the money would likely go toward Kintz’s medical bills.

As of Thursday, more than $22,000 had been raised.

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Meghan Bobrowsky, from Scripps College, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee, focusing on breaking news and school funding. She grew up in nearby Davis.