Source: Automotive News eMail Alert
Automotive News / Luca Ciferri / David Piper
TURIN -- The new head of General Motors Powertrain Europe was killed Sunday in a bicycle accident, a day before he was scheduled to assume his new duties.
David Piper, 47, was struck by a car at about 1 p.m. Sunday while he was riding his bicycle on a mountain road between Susa and Turin, the new headquarters of GM Powertrain Europe, GM said.
GM officials said they became alarmed when Piper failed to attend a Monday morning meeting and did not respond to calls to his mobile telephone.
His wife, Debra, had called the Turin office from her Michigan home because she was unable to reach her husband on Sunday, the company said.
La Stampa, a Turin newspaper, reported that Piper was not carrying identification when he was struck and killed. The newspaper quoted the driver of the vehicle as saying: "I do not know how it happened, but suddenly I lost control of my car, which went on a slide. I did not realize a bicyclist was coming the other way."
An emergency helicopter reached the scene within minutes, but too late to save Piper, whose body was found about 100 feet from the crash site, the newspaper said.
GM named Piper vice president and general manager of GM Powertrain Europe on July 28. He was scheduled to replace Greg Deveson, who will become president of Magna Powertrain's North American operations Sept. 1.
Piper previously was executive director of product engineering for GM Powertrain Europe. He moved to Turin in 2001, when he became general director of product engineering for a joint venture between GM Powertrain and Fiat.
Before that he was chief engineer of commercial transmissions for GM's Allison Transmission Division in Indianapolis.
Piper had a degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University and an MBA degree from Michigan State University. He joined GM in 1976 as a co-op student at GM Hydramatic in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Piper is survived by his wife and two sons.