EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — William Bader took up motorcycle racing a few decades ago after retiring as a corrections officer at the Atlantic County jail and continued his passion until the 78-year-old died in a motorcycle accident Friday.

The Egg Harbor Township resident died after a vehicle crashed into his 2008 Harley Davidson motorcycle which he was driving east on Zion Road at around 4:08 p.m., township police said. Verna Leap, 70, of Linwood, made a left turn onto the road from Marshall Drive, police said. Bader tried to brake and was thrown off his bike, police said.

Bader attempted to brake, police said, and avoid Leap but was thrown from the bike.

He died at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center City Campus in Atlantic City from his injuries, police said.

Bader started riding his Harley — the only type of motorcycle he would ride — about 20 years ago after retiring from the jail, said his mother-in-law Nancy Beall, of Egg Harbor Township.

“He rode as much as he possibly could,” she said, adding he had ridden most of the afternoon with Beall’s husband, also named William.

Beall said her son-in-law loved being outside and would go on many motorcycle trips — including two years ago at the famous Sturgis motorcycle rally in North Dakota. As Bader got older, Beall said, he cut down on the longer trips but still loved to ride.

“Winter was really tough for him because he wanted to ride,” she said.

Bader and his wife, Diane, did not have children but they were active dog lovers and Bader spent a lot of time volunteering at the Atlantic County SPCA, where Beall is the president. The family had two Yorkies named Shortpants and Nemo and a mini-pin named Rocky.

The organization held its annual fundraiser Sunday, which Beall said Bader would have wanted. Beall said the event could be renamed the “Kid Willie Run.” Kid Willie was his family’s nickname because Beall’s husband is also named William.

“He was a very good person,” Beall said. “He was a very nice man.”

Bader had also been involved in a motorcycle accident at the Black Horse Pike and English Creek Avenue in October 2001. He sustained a right leg/ankle injury, according to police reports at the time.

Police are still investigating Friday’s accident. Anyone with information should contact the department at 609-926-2661.

Staff Writer Anjalee Khemlani contributed to this report.

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