A motorcyclist from Lake Isabella died Tuesday when for unknown reasons he crossed the double-yellow lines of Highway 178 through the canyon and hit a Dodge Ram, the CHP reported.

Johnny Richard Rankin, 64, of Lake Isabella died at Kern Medical Center following the 3:20 p.m. crash just east of Lower Richbar, according to a Kern County coroner's office news release.

Rankin was riding a Suzuki motorcycle, which crossed into the westbound lane and into the path of the Dodge Ram driver by Phillip Bowman, 51, of San Francisco. Bowman saw the motorcycle coming and applied his brakes but couldn't avoid the collision, according to a CHP news release.

The front end of the Suzuki hit the front end of the Dodge, the CHP said.

Bowman and his passengers, David Peckham, 42, and Jennifer Bookout, 42, both of San Francisco, tried to help Rankin and directed traffic, the CHP reported. Several passersby stopped to help and direct traffic, too.

Rankin was taken by air ambulance to KMC.

-- The Californian