Police say the U.S. Olympic ski jumper from McHenry who died in a motorcycle crash in Bull Valley was reported to be traveling at a high speed when he lost control and crashed.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, Bull Valley Police Department and McHenry Township Fire Protection District responded around 5:35 p.m. Monday to the 1000 block of Cherry Valley Road in Bull Valley.
A preliminary investigation shows a motorcycle driven by Patrick Gasienica, 24, of McHenry, was traveling northbound on Cherry Valley Road.
Gasienica lost control of the motorcycle and crossed the center line, according to Bull Valley Police Chief Tracy Dickens.
A pickup truck traveling southbound on Cherry Valley Road was approaching the curve when the driver observed the motorcycle sliding across the roadway followed by Gasienica.
The pickup truck driver was able to stop his vehicle just prior to a collision, Dickens said.
Gasienica slid under the front of the pickup truck and his motorcycle slid off the roadway.
Dickens said the pickup truck driver is cooperating with the investigation and there was no visible damage to his vehicle.
Witnesses reported Gasienica was traveling at a high rate of speed just prior to the crash, Dickens said.
Bystanders stopped and began performing CPR on Gasienica, who was unconscious and not breathing.
Paramedics rushed the man to Northwestern Medicine Hospital in McHenry.
Gasienica was pronounced dead in the emergency room around 6:45 p.m. Monday, the McHenry County Coroner’s Office said.
He was the sole occupant of the motorcycle and the occupants of the truck were uninjured.
A preliminary autopsy confirmed Gasienica died as a result of blunt force trauma. Toxicology results are pending.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Major Crash Investigation Unit was called to assist the Bull Valley Police Department in the crash investigation.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard said in a statement that Gasienica was a former U.S. ski jumping athlete and Olympian.
Gasienica grew up ski jumping at the Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove and made his FIS Ski Jumping debut in 2015.
Gasienica represented the United States at two FIS Junior World Ski Championships in 2016 and 2017, the 2019 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Seefeld, as well as the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, according to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard.
“USA Nordic Sport and U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends and the ski jumping community,” the governing body said in a statement.
Gasienica’s funeral arrangements are expected to be announced at a later date by the family.