3 wrecks in three days: Springfield motorcyclist and shop co-owner reacts to the increase

Witnessed friend die in another wreck just two weeks ago
Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 6:52 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - In just a matter of days, a chain of wrecks involving motorcycles has some drivers and bikers concerned about roadside safety.

There are often two sides -- first there are those that say it is drivers behind the wheel that do not show any regard for motorcyclists. And others who say it is bikers who need to slow down and remember that they are not on a race track.

But motorcyclist Sean Bennett knows all too well that there are not two sides. Instead, drivers and motorcyclists both need to be on the same side, driving safely and responsibly on the road.

Bennett is well aware of the issue because just two weeks ago he lost a close friend in a motorcycle wreck that he witnessed first-hand. But even after this experience, he knows that motorcyclists and drivers can both be at fault from time to tim.

The wreck happened right in front of his family owned shop, “Don & Sons Cycle.”

“From 15 feet if not closer I watched the car hit him, and him come over the corner of the car, the motorcycle catch fire," Bennett said. “I was on scene from the moment it happened until almost 5 o’clock the next morning dealing with police and giving statements.”

His first instinct was to help his friend, he said.

“First thing I did of course was run up on scene to check pulse and make sure he was still alive, which he was,” Bennett said. “At that point called 9-11 and stayed right there by his side. I didn’t know if he was going to die right there at my finger tips and I definitely, if I was in the same situation I’d want somebody with me so I wasn’t gonna leave him.”

And now two weeks later to see so many wrecks happen in such a short time frame, he said it can bring back a tough memory.

“It’s way too many in the last two week period," he said.

The first wreck this week happened Thursday night near Campbell and Walnut Lawn. A driver in a car hit a motorcyclist and passenger injuring both.

Bennett also knows that motorcyclist and said he used to be a former mechanic for his shop.

“Last I heard he had lost half of his leg and she has a broken pelvis,” he said. “I mean it’s serious stuff.”

And just a day later, another wreck. This time a car pulled out in front of a speeding motorcyclist on North Glenstone, killing the rider.

On Saturday, another motorcyclist was killed after a car hit him. The biker was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries and was pronounced dead when he arrived.

Bennett said being in the motorcycle business, he is used to this kind of unfortunate news. But he did have advice for both drivers and bikers.

For the drivers he said it often comes down to focus.

“Lot of it is drivers not paying attention to motorcycles," Bennett said. "We see a lot more of it now with technology. Get a lot of people playing on cellphones doing things they’re not supposed to. Or they look up and go oh there’s a motorcycle well they’re not going that fast and you end up with somebody running into the side of the vehicle.”

But he rightfully admitted that motorcyclist are not always innocent in these situations, they too deserve the blame at times.

“As a motorcycle you need to watch your speeds," Bennett said. "I mean everybody likes to go fast and likes to have fun, but in the city as congested as it gets, that’s just not the place.”

He also said tricks are also dangerous and should not be done on busy roads. Bennett also added not all riders have to wear a helmet under Missouri law. Riders should think their decision through. He said he believes it is a personal decision, but one every biker should definitely think about before deciding to wear one or to not wear one.

As of late August, Missouri motorcyclists ages 26 and older can ride without a helmet, if they have both medical insurance and proof of financial responsibility.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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