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Wife, young son, watch as husband riding motorcycle is killed

Dale Funkhouser, 36, was identified as the victim of a fatal vehicle versus motorcycle crash Saturday in Elk Grove.
Dale Funkhouser, 36, was identified as the victim of a fatal vehicle versus motorcycle crash Saturday in Elk Grove. Funkhouser family

A typical Saturday morning for Elk Grove resident Katey Keller turned to horror after she and her 4-year-old son witnessed the death of her husband, a motorcyclist who died after he was hit by a car in Elk Grove.

Keller said she and her son were driving directly behind her husband at the time of the crash.

“All I kept saying was ‘Oh my God, oh my God. I can’t believe this,’ ” Keller said. “I can’t believe I saw this with my own eyes.”

Dale Funkhouser, 36, was identified by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office as the victim of a fatal vehicle vs. motorcycle collision that was reported to police about 11:14 a.m. It occurred just south of Laguna Boulevard.

Police said the collision happened while Funkhouser was driving south on Laguna Park Drive. A four-door sedan that was traveling in the opposite direction and attempting to make a left turn across oncoming traffic crashed into Funkhouser, police said.

The driver was identified as a 29-year-old woman who had two children in the car at the time of the crash, according to police. Family said Funkhouser died while he was being transported to a local hospital.

Funkhouser was on his way home after his son’s soccer game, with Keller and her mother following behind him in separate cars, Keller said. Funkhouser chose to drive his chrome-colored Yamaha that morning because he rarely had free time to ride the motorcycle in the year he owned it, she added.

“He was so hardworking,” Keller said.

Funkhouser was a husband and a father of three children: an 18-month-old daughter, a 4-year-old son and an 18-year-old son from a previous relationship. He worked in the Sacramento area at a fire sprinkler company while Keller took care of their children.

Relatives described Funkhouser as having a great sense of humor, a passion for adventure and a personality that would “light up a room.” Originally from Pittsburg, he grew up the third of four children in a tight-knit family.

“My brother always needed stitches and had broken bones,” said Sheree Maka, Funkhouser’s older sister. “He was a little Evel Knievel.”

Funkhouser spent most of his youth in Pittsburg, participating in Boy Scouts and local theater groups. At 18, he found out his girlfriend was pregnant with his first child. It wasn’t until 2010 that he met Keller through an online dating site. They married in 2013 and settled down in Elk Grove.

“He’s just funny,” she said. “He has an amazing smile and is just a jokester.”

Most recently, Funkhouser enjoyed spending time with his family at home and at family cookouts on weekends. He and his brother, Daniel Funkhouser, would talk every morning on their way to work.

“We both started at the crack of dawn, so we would get on our hands-free headset and talk about everything,” Daniel Funkhouser said.

A GoFundMe page set up to aide Keller and Funkhouser’s children reached more than $18,000 by Monday night.

No arrests were reported by police after the crash, though Keller said she was considering legal action. She hoped that her husband’s death would remind drivers to keep an eye out for motorcyclists and avoid distractions while on the road.

The family will hold a funeral for Funkhouser on Saturday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with a viewing at 11 a.m. and a service at noon. Funkhouser is survived by his grandfather, both of his parents, three siblings, his wife and three children.

Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets

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