Motorcyclist seriously injured in collision with pickup at intersection

Scene of a collision involving a motorcycle and a pickup truck at the intersection of 900 East and 700 South, St. George, Utah, Nov. 28, 2017 | Photo by Michael Rinker, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A motorcyclist collided head-on with a pickup truck at an intersection Tuesday evening, sending him to the hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries, according to police.

St. George Police Capt. Michael Giles said that shortly after 5:30 p.m., a man driving a Harley Davidson motorcycle was traveling eastbound on 700 South when he collided with a westbound GMC Sierra pickup truck that was reportedly making a left turn south onto 900 East.

Scene of a collision involving a motorcycle and a pickup truck at the intersection of 900 East and 700 South, St. George, Utah, Nov. 28, 2017 | Photo by Michael Rinker, St. George News

The motorcyclist was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the collision, Giles said.

“The motorcycle rider was thrown from the bike and was not wearing a helmet,” Giles said, adding that the rider was transported to the hospital with injuries that appeared to be significant.

Details of his condition were not immediately known, but this story will be updated as further details become available.

Following the collision, the black Harley was wedged under the front of the truck as fluids from one or both vehicles flowed down the street.

The white and silver GMC pickup appeared to have heavy damage to the front end, including the bumper being torn loose. Both airbags were deployed.

More than two hours after the crash, investigators from the St. George Police Department’s accident-reconstruction team were still on site.

Traffic moved carefully, but steadily around the scene with occasional backups as officers waved cars through. When the reconstruction team arrived, however, they turned back northbound traffic on 900 East, blocked the street and strung yellow tape to protect the scene.

Investigators work at the scene of a collision involving a motorcycle and a pickup truck at the intersection of 900 East and 700 South, St. George, Utah, Nov. 28, 2017 | Photo by Michael Rinker, St. George News

A man who identified himself to police as John and said he was a friend of the motorcyclist was asked by an officer with the reconstruction team whether his friend was wearing glasses. John took off his own black, thick-framed glasses and said he may have been wearing a similar pair that weren’t prescription, but instead used as a “windshield” when riding.

John said he was supposed to meet his friend, who had just left work. When he didn’t show up, John went to his home and was told his friend was in the hospital on life support.

Although the injured man’s name has not been officially released by authorities, he has been identified by family members and friends on social media posts as Heber Larson of St. George.

Larson’s wife Billie Larson, who is eight months pregnant with the couple’s second child, wrote in a Facebook post late Wednesday morning that her husband was undergoing surgery and remains critical but stable condition.

A fundraising campaign has been established at the following site, with the link having been shared more than 500 times and raising more than $1,300 by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Several neighbors who live near the accident scene said the intersection is a dangerous one, especially when employees from the medical center across the street are getting off work and trying to merge into heavy traffic. One woman suggested a left-turn signal is needed for cars turning south onto 900 East from 700 South.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

St. George News editor Michael Rinker contributed to this story.

Updated Nov. 29, 5:30 p.m. Injured motorcyclist’s name and other details added.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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17 Comments

  • old school November 28, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    Sounds like a simple “failure to yeild”. With no mention of the truck driver being cited and all the excessive law enforcement effort trying to pin it on the biker, I’m guessing the errant driver is some kind of big wig in the community

    • comments November 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm

      oh yea, it could be the mayor, or even an LDS “steak president”. im not that conspiratorial but its possible. most likely the “incident team” isn’t too busy and are taking their time. The only way the pickup driver would face charges is if he was inebriated. Otherwise this is a typical utah “no fault” incident with any penalties handled in the civil court system.

      • Lastdays November 29, 2017 at 7:10 am

        The truck will probably get a ticket because he pulled in front of the motorcycle. However, the motorcycle was traveling at a “high rate of speed” at night and the whole incident probably could have been avoided had the motorcycle been doing the speed limit.

        Too many motorcycles ( and other vehicles )are racing around this town 15-20 over the posted speed. And, too many vehicles have bad habits of just pulling in front of people at any given time. It makes for a bad situation.

  • mshaw November 29, 2017 at 12:53 am

    I’d have to agree. And poor reporting as well looks like the reporter is taking side and not just reporting facts.

  • DesertBill November 29, 2017 at 7:16 am

    “The motorcyclist was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the collision.” Looking at the front end damage, and the relatively low speed the truck would have been going to turn left, it doesn’t sound so simple to me.

    • tcrider November 29, 2017 at 7:58 pm

      It looks like the bike is totally at fault to me, just from the damage that was done to the the truck.
      And then you throw in the stupidity of not wearing a helmet, and you have it, your typical
      st george biker wanabe. loud pipes, wallet on a chain, bandanna and the smarter ones will wear sun glasses.

      • Rob83 November 30, 2017 at 7:58 am

        Whoa dude, ease up, motorcyclist are humans too. Nobody is perfect, and let’s be glad he is fighting for his life right now. He has a baby due in January.

      • katham November 30, 2017 at 3:15 pm

        You should check your facts before ranting about something you don’t know about. The truck was clearly in the wrong lane if you look at the pictures. The kid on the motorcycle is not a typical “Wannabe” biker. He is a young man with a young wife, a 3 year old daughter, and a baby on the way. He had the green light and the truck was making a left turn, cutting it short and turning into the oncoming traffic lane. This is a responsible young man with a job supporting a young family. He is fighting for his life in a medically induced coma and fighting for his life. I wonder what your reaction would be if this was your son!

        • tcrider November 30, 2017 at 6:46 pm

          This is the difference, first of all my son wears a helmet and rides defensively, this was clearly irresponsible.
          You need to read the article again, The motorcyclist was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the collision. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but after a accident like this chances are, you will be a social security disability burden, And it won’t add up to diddly because it is based on what you paid into social security to begin with.

          • comments November 30, 2017 at 9:08 pm

            All the best to the victim here, but if a person rides a street motorcycle continuously it’s only a matter of time before a crash, serious and debilitating crash, or death occurs. There are things one can do to help prevent a crash or increase survival in the event of a crash, but at the end of the day riding is a huge risk no matter what one does

  • Caveat_Emptor November 29, 2017 at 8:13 am

    It is still not clear who had the right of way in this incident.
    Even if the motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed, unless he blew through a red light, the truck caused the accident by failing to yield to oncoming traffic.
    Bottom Line: Even with the right of way, if you ride a motorcycle, you a bound to lose.

  • Anon November 29, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Hey, St. George News. The pictures of the motorcycle have the plate numbers visible. Not sure about you policy on this, but you might want to blur those out…

  • mmsandie November 29, 2017 at 8:33 am

    My friend used to say “you don,t have to be stupid to drive a motorcycle” but it helps..speed, not yielding but most of all nit wearing a helmet, proves my statement.. is it better not to muss up your hair or end up with no head for hai4 to sit on…?

  • 42214 November 29, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Another organ donor not wearing a helmut.

  • utahdiablo November 29, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Really hope the Biker survives, just too bad this has to happen….we have bikers running down our 25 mph posted speed neighborhood doing 50 – 70 with the loud pipes for kicks at 11pm most nights…time will come for them too

  • Kyla November 29, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    I thought for sure he was done for. So relieved to hear that the rider is still alive. 🙏 couldn’t stop thinking about it after driving past yesterday.

    • Rob83 November 30, 2017 at 8:01 am

      Same here, it looked very bad, he’s a fighter for sure.

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