A taste of spring weather arrived in Western Washington over the weekend, prompting many motorcycle riders to pull their bikes out of the garage and take advantage of the sunshine.
Before heading out to enjoy our beautiful state riders are encouraged to think safety prior to starting their ride. The primary causes of motorcycle collisions are speeding, alcohol, and driver inattention. In addition, riders should wear proper equipment, including a DOT-approved helmet.
Tragically, two riders died and one is in critical condition from three separate crashes this past week-end.
Just before noon Sunday, a 49-year-old Oregon resident died when he crossed the center line on his 2002 Harley-Davidson on SR-401, near the Dismal Nitch rest area, in Pacific county and collided with an oncoming vehicle.
An hour later, a 29-year-old University Place resident was killed after losing control on SR-512 near Sumner and crashing into the freeway median.
Later that day, a 43-year-old DuPont resident was airlifted from a crash on SR-508, west of Morton. She is currently at Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver
"I find these motorcycle collisions to be very sad because they were all caused by the rider." said WSP Chief John R. Batiste. "These crashes, as with most collisions, were entirely preventable."
This brings the 2009 fatality count to nine. Seven of the nine fatal crashes this year were single-vehicle incidents, and the motorcycle drivers caused all nine crashes. Three involved individuals riding without a motorcycle endorsement.
WSP is urging motorcyclists to take a rider safety course and get a motorcycle endorsement on their driver's license before riding. Troopers will continue to actively enforce licensing, motorcycle endorsement, helmet, and collision-causing violations.