Crash in I-15 construction zone injures motorcycle rider

ST. GEORGE — A motorcyclist was severely injured when his motorcycle slammed into a vehicle traveling in a construction zone on Interstate 15 in Littlefield, Arizona, Thursday.

Just after noon on Thursday emergency personnel were dispatched to a reported crash involving a black 2001 Yamaha motorcycle and a passenger vehicle, Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire Battalion Chief Andre Ojeda said.

Upon arrival emergency personnel found the rider severely injured in the roadway, with his bike nearby, while the woman driving the passenger car told officers that she was uninjured.

The man suffered what appeared to be a compound fracture to his leg, in addition to suffering road rash injuries on more than 40 percent of the exposed areas of his body, Ojeda said.

The rider was quickly ground-transported to the helipad located at Beaver Dam/Littlefield’s Fire Station No. 1 and within minutes was flown to Mesa View Regional Hospital in Mesquite, Nevada, for treatment.

Officers determined that the rider was traveling north on I-15 and as he approached the Littlefield Exit traffic was unusually congested due to construction on the Virgin River Bridge in Arizona, which slowed all northbound lanes of travel.

“Just before the off-ramp into Littlefield the rider wasn’t paying attention and didn’t notice that traffic was slowing in front of him, and laid the bike down before he slid into the vehicle in front of him,” Arizona Highway Patrol Sgt. John Bottoms said.

The rider was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, Bottoms said, which saved him from more serious injuries by absorbing a majority of the impact caused in the crash.

“His helmet sustained a significant amount of damage,” he said.

The motorcycle was extensively damaged and towed from the scene, while the woman reported only minor damage to the passenger car, he said.

“With a little duct tape she was able to drive her car from the scene,” Bottoms said.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Division, Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire District and Beaver Dam/Littlefield Ambulance responded and tended to the scene.

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

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