AMARILLO, TX - One Amarillo man is dead and another in critical condition after two separate motorcycle accidents last night.
Amarillo police tell us there have been four motorcycle deaths so far this year and of those, three riders were not wearing helmets...and did not have motorcycle licenses.
The incidents happened just two hours within each other....the first around 8:00 on Bushland Boulevard. David Leyba's motorcycle struck the curb and he was thrown from the cycle and pronounced dead at the scene.
The second happened around 10 on southwest Sixth Avenue. Jeffrey Colvin's motorcycle struck a vehicle and was also thrown from his cycle. He was transported to a hospital, where he remains in critical condition.
"They are a little bit unusual in the fact that they occurred within a couple of hours of each other," says APD Sergeant Brent Barbee. "Both of them occurred in the western sector of town. We have a great deal of motorcycle traffic out along west 6th, so it's not unusual to see people on motorcycles out there and of course as the number of bikes goes up, the number of accidents goes up."
"You know, it's more frequent than a lot of people would think," says TJ Mundell with Golden Spread Motorplex. "I mean, I've got two customers right now that I'm trying to sell motorcycles to that are recent accident victims, so it happens more frequently that I think a lot of the people in Amarillo realize."
And while Barbee says it is up to the rider to make the decision, he says there are a few things they can do to take precaution. One he says is most important...wearing a helmet.
"We recommend that people do everything they can to get education and experience, you consume no alcohol when you're driving a motorcycle/riding a motorcycle," says Barbee. "Speed tends to show up as a factor very often in these accidents. It reduces the driver's ability to control and increases the danger immeasurably."
"When you're out there, just wear bright clothing, lights if you're riding at night a lot of people like these dark customs and stuff. Put some lights on your bike. There's a lot of people in town that'll do that. I think that's a big awareness thing. Be visible. Be visible and drive defensive," says Mundell.