ST. GEORGE — Two crashes on Interstate 15 north of Littlefield, Arizona came in within minutes of one another, while a third crash near the Black Rock Exit left a rider seriously injured when he was thrown from the bike and found unconscious.
On Thursday, officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash on northbound I-15 near mile marker 9 involving a three-wheel motorcycle, or a trike, with a rider who was injured shortly after 1 p.m. MDT.
Upon arrival, responders found that the crash took place near the Exit 8 off-ramp where they found both the rider and the bike along the soft shoulder to the right of the roadway. Several motorists had also stopped and were tending to the rider until help arrived.
It appeared the motorcyclist was attempting to exit the freeway when he lost control of the three-wheel bike, which rolled multiple times. The rider was thrown from the bike and then landing more than 10 yards from where the two became separated.
The rider had little, if any, trauma from the crash, “likely due to the fact the rider was wearing a helmet at the time,” Ojeda said, adding the man was also fortunate to have landed on a soft shoulder covered in sand.
The cardiac issue the rider suffered just before the accident was serious though, he said, so once Mercy Air landed the man was flown to the hospital for treatment.
“He was very lucky, when you consider a rider doesn’t have to be going very fast to sustain major injuries when they are thrown from a bike,” Ojeda said.
As the motorcyclist was being loaded into the helicopter, a single-vehicle crash was reported just a few miles away involving a passenger car that rolled and was found upside-down in the middle of I-15.
The driver was outside of the car and sustained minor scrapes and bruises but was otherwise uninjured, which was surprising, Ojeda said, when compared to the amount of damage to the vehicle.
When Ojeda asked the driver if he was restrained at the time of the crash, the battalion chief said the man responded by saying, “That’s the first thing I do every time I get in the car.”
Both vehicles involved in the two crashes sustained extensive damage and were towed from the scene.
On Friday morning, a single-vehicle crash involving a motorcycle was reported on northbound I-15 near the Black Rock Exit where emergency personnel arrived to find a rider who was unconscious and severely injured.
The man was riding with a group at the time of the crash, Hooper said, and one of the riders called 911 after the man lost control of the bike and crashed. He was found unconscious in a ditch several feet from the roadway and was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center by ambulance in serious condition.
The recent uptick in the number of motorcycles traveling through Utah coincides with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a 10-day event that opened Friday and will continue through Aug. 16 in Sturgis, South Dakota, a town with a population of roughly 6,600 people.
This year commemorates the rally’s 80th anniversary, and, in 2015, nearly 740,000 attended the event, 122 of which were married, 339 were jailed and more than 540 were seen in the emergency room.
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