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Grand Junction Police responded to an accident in June at the intersection of Fourth Street and Ute Avenue. The motorcycle rider was southbound on Fourth Street when he was hit by a vehicle. The rider of the motorcycle later died from his injuries.

The Colorado Department of Transportation reports that fatal motorcycle crashes are up 12% over last year.

“Since January, Colorado has seen a startling increase in motorcyclist fatalities and the state is expected to exceed the number of fatalities from last year,” said Darrell Lingk, CDOT director of the Office of Transportation Safety. “With the fall riding season approaching and many riders currently enjoying the warm weather, we are urging drivers to use caution and be aware of motorcyclists. Drivers, please remember to look twice and save a life.”

Mesa County has reportedly had six motorcycle fatalities this year, the most on the Western Slope, with Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Montrose and Rio Blanco counties each having one.

While Grand Junction Police Department motor officer John Ferguson said he’s not seen a noticeable increase in motorcycle crashes this year, he said that they always spike during summer months.

“Officer Donahue is investigating a serious bodily injury crash this week,” he said.

A fatal motorcycle wreck occurred at Fourth Street and Ute Avenue on June 10. Another one was reported on Aug. 26 at the intersection of Independent Avenue and U.S. Highway 6&50.

To date, there have been 100 motorcycle fatalities in 2020 in Colorado.

In 2019, there was a total of 103 motorcycle fatalities. Motorcyclists make up 23% of all deaths on Colorado roadways and represent 3% of the vehicles.

When investigating crashes, one thing Ferguson is looking for is if the motorcyclists were wearing helmets and what safety equipment was being used.

Motorcyclists were not wearing helmets in the two fatal wrecks the Police Department investigated earlier this year.

“We’re always looking at speed and the amount of energy brought into the crash,” he said. “Captured on crash reports is whether or not helmets and safety protection gear were worn.”

For motorcyclists 17 and under, helmets are required.

For those 18 and over, they are not.

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