World’s Largest Harley-Davidson Dealer Killed in Motorcycle Crash
Bruce Rossmeyer, owner 15 Harley-Davidson dealerships across the nation, died on July 30 in a tragic and ironic motorcycle crash. Rossmeyer owned the Destination Daytona dealership in Daytona Beach, Florida, and he was heavily involved in Daytona Beach’s Bike Week each year. Rossmeyer, who was 66 at the time of his death, also raised millions of dollars for his favorite charities.
Rossmeyer was on his way to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in Wyoming when he died. Richie Supa, a fellow biker and a musician who performed at Rossmeyer’s charity events, said, “He was in that moment that he lived for. He was doing what he loved to do. How ironic it is for him to be on a motorcycle in one of the most beautiful riding territories in the U.S. It’s sad, be he couldn’t have picked a better spot on God’s earth to feel that freedom when you ride.”
According to the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Rossmeyer was headed east on Highway 28 in Sweetwater County behind a Ford pickup truck pulling a 2-axle camper trailer. The truck driver, Rober VanValkenbur, 73, of Rock Springs, IL, slowed down and began to make a left turn as Rossmeyer was passing. Rossmeyer’s bike collided with the truck. VanValkenburg’s turn signals and brake were working at the time of the crash. Rossmeyer was not wearing a helmet.
Rossmeyer’s death shocked many attendees of the Sturgis rally.
“His death is going to change the motorcycle industry,” said Woody Woodruff, owner of the Buffalo Chip Campground at Sturgis. “You have movers and shakers, and Bruce was definitely a mover and shaker. He made things happen. You lose someone like that and it creates a big void.”
Rossmeyer opened a Dodge dealership in New Jersey in 1969. As a longtime motorcyclist, he opened a Harley-Davidson dealership in Dayton Beach in 1994.
“I thought this would be neat to mess around on weekends and have some fun,” he said in a 2007 interview.
Rossmeyer had good timing. The motorcycle business boomed, and he soon opened dealerships in Colorado, Massachusetts, Mississippi, and Tennessee. His Destination Daytona dealership in Florida is a 150-acre resort for bikers, complete with hotels, condominiums, restaurants, stores, and of course the world’s largest Harley dealership. It opened in 2005.
Rossmeyer was a major fundraiser for charities like the Boys and Girls Club and the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
“He loved to laugh. He was just a very fun guy,” remembers his friend Supa.
If only he had been wearing his helmet, perhaps Rossmeyer would have survived. In Georgia, motorcycle fatalities have increased 174 percent in the past 9 years. Wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle goes a long way in preventing fatalities. If you ride, choose a helmet that meets DOT standards for the best protection. See more Motorcycle Safety Tips for more information.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle wreck, call Neff Injury Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.