Toy Drive organizer succumbs to injuries suffered in crash

File photo. The Elks Riders of Santa Clarita will hold a blackjack toy drive to benefit the children of military veterans. Elks Riders Lodge 2379

Anthony Michael Princiotta was on his motorcycle, heading for the Santa Clarita Elks Lodge on Sierra Highway to join those helping out with his annual Blackjack Toy Run, which raises money to buy presents for kids at Christmas.

At 3:40 p.m. Monday Dec. 3., emergency response units were called to a traffic collision involving a motorcycle on Sierra Highway, near the College of the Canyons east campus exit.

The fatally injured motorcyclist was Princiotta.

Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded at 3:44 p.m. to reports of a man laying in the street near the campus exit, Fire Department Inspector Joey Marron said Friday.

“The information was phoned in by a passer-by who saw him,” he said.

Paramedics took the injured man to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station also responded to the call.

“This was a traffic collision involving a motorcyclist and a pickup truck,” said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station.

“The motorcyclist reportedly rear-ended a pickup truck while travelling southbound on Sierra Highway,” she said. “The motorcyclist, a male adult, suffered severe injuries, and passed away at the hospital on Wednesday night.”

That motorcyclist was Princiotta, of Acton, said Sarah Ardalani, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

Princiotta, born on Christmas Day 1984, married his wife, Deana, a couple of years ago.

“He was her rock,” Chris Blackwell, a friend of the couple, said Friday, noting Deana is devastated by the news of her husband’s death.

“Everybody (waiting for him at the Elks Club) was in shock,” he said.

“He (Princiotta) always thought of everybody first,” Blackwell said. “He greeted everyone with a smile.”

Princiotta demonstrated his love for others every year by running the toy drive for kids.

Blackwell said the toy drive is still on because Princiotta would have wanted it that way.

The event allows drivers, motorcycle riders and their passengers, who will each donate a new unwrapped toy, to ride around Santa Clarita and play blackjack games at difFerent venues while raising money to buy presents for underprivileged children of veterans.

Last year, the blackjack run raised $1,700 for toys, and this year, Princiotta hoped to raise as much as $3,000 and collect 200 toys.

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