PORTSMOUTH Va. (WAVY) — The month of July has been a tragic one for motorcycle riders throughout Hampton Roads.
Since July 5, five riders have died in Hampton Roads alone. According to police, the most recent happened Friday in Suffolk. Police say a motorcyclist was seriously injured after an accident on Holy Neck Road on Friday night.
Suffolk police say the emergency call for the accident came in around 9:10 p.m. for the 6300 block of the road.
Their preliminary investigation determined the motorcycle left the roadway and hit a ditch. Suffolk Fire & Rescue officials treated the man driving the motorcycle before he was airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
Accidents like this are the reason why Keith Lindgren heads a motorcycle training course. Lindgren is the President of Tidewater Motorcycle Safety Training.
“Don’t trust the other guy out there, ride your own ride,” said Lindgren. ” When you ride a motorcycle you don’t have the protection you have in a car, you have to be in a constant lookout for what’s happening around you.”
Lindgren knows his training can save lives. His son was also an instructor, but unfortunately he lost his life on a motorcycle in 2007 when a car ran him off the road.
“I had a son who was killed on a motorcycle, on one of my bikes. I don’t regret him riding, I sure regret not having him around but it’s one of those things that happens,” said Lindgren. “Drivers need to be more aware of what motorcycles are out there and motorcyclists need to be aware that drivers are out there and aren’t looking out for them.
Important for drivers and riders, especially with the recent numbers of motorcycle crashes and deaths in Hampton Roads.
In one accident in mid-July, two riders died on Dam Neck in Virginia Beach. A teenager is charged in the crash.
Virginia Beach police say two vehicles, a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle and Subaru Crosstrek SUV, were racing eastbound on Dam Neck Road around that time. A little ways ahead, a Genuine Roughhouse 50 moped was traveling in the same lane as the Kawasaki. The motorcycle ran into the back of the moped, causing the motorcyclist to be thrown into a ditch.
“One of them ran into a scooter, speed is a killer,” Lindgren said.
In 2017, there were 107 fatal motorcycle crashes in Hampton Roads, the highest number in a decade.
“They’ve got to be aware that there is an intersection coming up or a car coming towards them.”
Keith said cell phones and distracted driving only add to the problem.
“No one ever said look out for motorcycles, we are not conditioned to look for motorcycles.”
Keith says his son would want him to keep riding his Harley Davidson and keep spreading his motorcycle message to those who want to hear it.
“You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. We can teach them all the safety factors, but unless they take what we preach, it does no good.”
If you are interested in taking classes, visit Tidewater Motorcycle Safety Training’s website.