A Gilroy man who was a frequent rider at Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area was found deceased Tuesday morning at the off-road park after what officials say appeared to be a high-speed collision with a tree, which forced him off the trail and down an embankment.
On Monday, March 17 at 4:15 p.m., Hollister Hills staff were alerted to an “overdue rider.” The male, later identified as Doug Williams of Gilroy, had left camp at 4:30 p.m. for a “20-minute ride” and had yet to return. Hollister Hills staff and volunteers performed a search for the rider but were unable to locate him. At approximately 8:10 p.m., a call was made to the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office for its Search and Rescue (SAR) team to respond. The Sheriff’s Office took over the search operations at approximately 9:30 p.m. and searched through the night assisted by a California Highway Patrol helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, Santa Cruz County SAR, Monterey County SAR, Santa Clara County SAR, and Hollister Hills rangers, staff and volunteers.
Williams' body was located at approximately 8:45 a.m. Tuesday. He was pronounced deceased by AMR paramedics and was transported to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.
The Sheriff's Office said Williams was a frequent rider at Hollister Hills and had been riding with family since the age of 10. In a press release, the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office said it "would like to thank our allied agencies for their help and support. Many of our regional SAR members are volunteers, and all of San Benito County’s SAR personnel volunteer their time and talents to our county. The local American Red Cross responded to the command post and supplied food and drink to our volunteers."