By Mary Beth Alexander
Daily News Staff Writer
Sunday, January 28th, 1996
MALIBU LAKE - An off-duty Beverly Hills police officer from North Hollywood died Saturday after his motorcycle crashed on a winding stretch of Mulholland Highway, a few miles from a biker hangout where he'd just eaten breakfast.
The officer, Howard Wilson, 35, was an 11 year veteran who leaves behind a daughter, 11 and a 7 year-old son, said a friend Robert Fleischner.
"He was outgoing, he was funny, a real non-judgmental guy," Fleischner said. "He was real easy to get along with."
Authorities would not say whether Wilson was wearing a helmet. (Gee, I wonder why?)
But Fleischner said his friend - and all their buddies - were adamant about wearing helmets, and had purchased the style with transmitter gear that allowed them to talk to each other during their day long trips. (sounds like a full face to me...)
"He's one of the few people I've ever ridden with that I felt totally comfortable with," Fleischner said. "He was probably one of the best riders I know."
Wilson was found shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Mulholland Highway, two miles east of Cornell Road and a few miles from the Rock Store, a popular eatery and hangout for motorcyclists, officials said.
Store owner Ed Savco said Wilson had eaten with friends at the diner that morning. "He was one of my customers that (hung) out in front of my store a lot," Savco said.
Wilson suffered massive head and body injuries and was taken by helicopter to Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:40 a.m., nursing supervisor Anne Lipman said.
Authorities said no other vehicles were involved and they didn't know what had caused the crash.
Wilson loved riding motorcycles, Fleischner said. A motorcycle officer for seven years, Wilson spent most of his off-duty time as he did when he was on dutyÑ astride a bike, he said.
Fleischner said he, Wilson and about a half dozen fellow motorcycle enthusiasts, rode together most weekends. They frequently traveled the road where Wilson was killed, he said.
Ironically, Wilson and his friends recently had discussed making a film about motorcycle safety, Fleischner said.
"We would talk a lot about riding safe," Fleischner said. "This really hits home."
Yes this certainly does hit home for all riders. And what a tragedy. Here we have a fellow biker go down and his "buddies" are so committed to the "group think" about helmets that they refuse to even consider that maybe, just maybe... his full face helmet didn't save his life and for all we know, may have contributed either to the accident or to the force in which he hit the ground. If helmets are so safe how did he sustain massive head injury? And even in his death, the "authorities" won't let the public know that he was wearing a helmet. Go ask Ed or Verne at the Rock Store if they saw Officer Wilson ride off with his helmet on. Sadly, he did... R.I.P.