Area physician dies in motorcycle crash on 2 Freeway

A prominent local physician was killed Monday night after he lost control of his motorcycle on the Glendale (2) Freeway, officials said.

Thomas Grosch, 53, of La Cañada Flintridge was pronounced dead at the crash scene on the 2 Freeway near Mountain Street, according to Los Angeles County Coroner Assistant Chief Ed Winter.


He was traveling north on the freeway at about 5:55 p.m. on a Harley Davidson, possibly at a high rate of speed, said Officer Tom Miller of the California Highway Patrol’s Altadena station. Officers discovered 300 feet of skid marks on the road, he added.

Grosch, for reasons not immediately known, reportedly lost control of his motorcycle, which caused it overturn.


He was thrown from the motorcycle and suffered massive injuries, Miller said.

That day, Grosch — who was an ear, nose and throat doctor — had just returned to work from a family trip, said Dr. Warren Line, Grosch’s partner at East Valley ENT in Burbank.

“He was just happy to be back,” Line said.

As he headed out the door for his usual commute back to La Cañada, he zipped up his jacket and told Line, “See you tomorrow.”


Grosch’s wife later called Line and broke the news to him.

Line said Grosch was an experienced and safe motorcyclist, who had been riding since he was kid.

Grosch had been working with Line for five years at their Burbank practice.

“Tom was a breath of fresh air,” Line said, adding that he had a good sense of humor and a list of jokes.

Grosch had also served as chief of surgery at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and worked at Providence Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank, where he served as chairman for the ear, nose and throat department.

Grosch was the chief of surgery at Glendale Memorial Hospital for a year in 2007, according to the hospital’s spokeswoman Sonia Astrid Solin. He had worked with the hospital and its staff for nearly 15 years.

“He will be truly missed by his patients and our community,” she said in an email, adding that hospital staff members were “deeply saddened” by his death.

The longtime doctor had planned next month to attend a hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings with his staff. He was an avid Blackhawks and Chicago Bears fan, Line said.


Grosch, who described himself on his business website as conservative with a “strong religious background,” was married to his high-school sweetheart and had three daughters.

“I have no doubt I will see him again,” Line said.

CHP officers are investigating the crash and are looking for witnesses.

Anyone with details about the crash is asked to call investigators at the Altadena Station at (626) 296-8100.


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.