Emergency Service

Saturday Bad Day For Idaho Motorcycles

motorcycleWhile motorcycle enthusiasts were conducting a “safety awareness” ride from Lucky Peak Dam to the Capitol in Boise Saturday, riders in Southeast Idaho were riding in ambulances to the hospital following crashes.

Here is a summary from Idaho State Police:
KIMBERLY– Joseph Houston, 44, of Twin Falls, was on a 2000 Harley Davidson motorcycle being towed by Melvin Houston, 43, of Filer, in a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche on US 30 at mile marker 224, in Kimberly.

While negotiating a curve Joseph was unable to maintain control of the motorcycle and went into oncoming traffic striking the side of a 2007 Ford F350 pickup driven by William Gnesa, 34, of Gooding.

Joseph was transported by ground ambulance to St Lukes Magic Valley. He was not wearing a helmet.

SODA SPRINGS–on Highway 34 at milepost 77.

Van Jorgensen, 48, of Lewiston, Utah, and his passenger Susana Jorgensen, 44, were riding a 2014 Harley Davidson south on State Highway 34, and the motorcycle struck a deer that ran onto the roadway.

Both riders were transported via ground ambulance to Caribou Memorial Hospital in Soda Springs. They were both wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

INKOM– Old Highway 91, just south of Inkom.

Randal Slutz, 55, of Pocatello, was riding a 2009 Yamaha southbound when the motorcycle went off the roadway. Slutz was not wearing a helmet and was transported via ground ambulance to Portneuf Regional Medical Center in Pocatello.

The crash is under investigation by the Idaho State Police with assistance at the scene by Bannock County Search and Rescue, and the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Makes me wonder why the insurance is so cheap. Or why they are still permitted to be on the roads at all.

    A motor-scooter crash will cost a house and more… if you recover at all. Crash death is 37 times more likely on a motor-scooter. Most motor-scooter crashes as self inflicted. Most motor-scooters do not have anti-skid brakes. They do not stop better than cars and are less maneuverable. Some cars get better mpg than most harley scooters. So likely to crash are they, that dealerships do not allow test-driving new merchandise. A helmet would have been useful in 40% of motor-scooter deaths… the other 60% were so violent it would not matter.

    Zoom zoom.

    (US Gov Stats as best I can recall)

  2. Grumpy ole Guy
    May 2, 2015, 11:47 pm

    I know that there is no helmet law in Idaho; but, why . . . nevermind

  3. As a guy with an M on his license, it’s ironic that the motorcycle safety folks make their point by riding unsafely. They ride side by side in a lane. They ride in groups are too large to allow cars to easily pass. And many won’t wear helmets. Even motorcycle police officers violate the Idaho manual by riding 2 to a lane.

  4. Most Americans are ignorant dolts, so the ignoramous group tends to be the majority of motorcycle riders, and by far the majority of fatalities. Having ridden motorcycles without incident for over 25 years on the streets of Boise, I am still always shocked to see folks riding around with nothing more than shorts, t-shirt, flip-flops, and not even a pair of sunglasses to keep the bugs out their eyes. Smart folks always wear full armored riding pants and jacket, and a helmet, no matter how hot it is. Long term riders treat motorcycle riding as a deadly serious activity, while short timers treat it as an amusement park ride. There is almost always a direct correlation between the amount of safety gear riders are wearing and how conservatively they’re operating the motorcycle, with the amount of hours they’ve ridden.

  5. I sold my BMW R1200C because I never could become comfortable riding it in traffic or on the interstate between my home and Boise. Just too many close calls and odds were that eventually I was going to come out second best when and if I ever had a collision.

    Dirt bikes are another matter and to me seem a lot safer when the rider is the only one he has to worry about when riding out in the boonies.

  6. I used to go on the “Awareness Ride” pretty regularly. But I haven’t for a number of years.

    1) I have no idea if the other riders in close proximity have been riding a motorcycle for 45 years, or 45 minutes.

    2) Far too many aren’t wearing a helmet. I realize it’s “rider choice” in Idaho… as it should be. But if you can’t be bothered to wear a brain-bucket, you won’t convince me that you are very safety-oriented.

  7. IdahoCrystal
    May 4, 2015, 11:30 am

    RE: Zippo’s comments – Insurance coverage is cheap because it’s deficient ‘out of the box’ – It’ll basically cover the base cost of the bike and gear and @ $10-25K health, (which will get you to the ER, some stitches/bandages and some pain meds.) NOTE: Riders choosing not to wear a helmet put themselves at risk of a significantly reduced insurance claim even if they’re not at fault.
    Truly responsible riders will wear a good helmet – no matter what. They’ll review and request an increase in their coverage (including heavily increased medical and un/underinsured motorist coverage). Which makes it not so cheap any longer.
    Ideally, people wouldn’t need a helmet law to wear a helmet and we’d all have LTD & life insurance and be organ donors to at least address the reality of our choices and reduce possible burdens on family or taxpayers.
    Most larger/cruiser bikes DO have anti-lock brakes for the past 5 to 7 years, depending on make/model. (Harley was actually sued for being a hold out on what’s become a standard.)
    They still continue to stop shorter and are WAY more maneuverable than cars, and yes, if you have your M license, you can demo ride a new bike from some dealers.
    Most solo accidents happen for ONE reason – Rider error. (typically due to inexperience.)

    As a daily rider/commuter from Nampa to E. Boise for the last 6 years, the #1 hazard I encounter EVERY SINGLE DAY are distracted / texting drivers.

    P.S. FWIW, I don’t appreciate the hypocrisy of the Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety (ICMS) “safety rides” and their lobbying to stop helmet laws, but I DO appreciate their other work, like working with ITD to reduce tar lines on road repairs – and while I didn’t participate, Saturday’s ride was actually termed Motorcycle Awareness Ride, which was held to promote awareness of bikers. (AKA Reminder to politicians and drivers of the number of bikers/voters who enjoy big, group rides.) = >

  8. IC: You add several good points. And we continue to disagree somewhat.

    The anti-locks have only been standard on the high-end bikes for a short time. 2012 for BMW. Most folks, especially new or young riders are not spending $20-40K on a bike. Many don’t buy the option since stopping is not on their young minds.

    Faster stopping and more maneuverable than modern cars, hmmm?? In a perfect world with some bikes… The public roads are not perfect… bumps, pebbles on surface, oils, sand, the condition of the brakes/tires, etc… advantage lost. Also scooter-riders are rarely able to push their bike to it’s performance limits in a fear-for-their-life PANIC. Very slight rider error and the advantage is lost. Whereas with a car/light-truck one simply mash the brake and turn the wheel. Further, even a minor collision will kill an unprotected motor-scooter rider.

    Again, most (more than half) motor-scooter wrecks are self-inflicted. And when a car/truck is involved, and somewhat at fault, the motor-scooter rider was still often speeding, weaving in traffic, passing on the blindside, alcohol, or wearing dark clothing on a dark bike (low-vis is sooo cool).

    Motor-scooters should be limited by law to off-road and/or the liability of ANY wreck should place more burden on the scooter rider since, like jumping off a bridge, it is known to substantially increase risk. If we have a seat belt law and car building safety laws for obvious reasons. We should also have laws for every conceivable safety improvement on donor-cycles. That means a helmet, blaze-bright safety clothing, anti-locks, even airbags on the bike. I would also like to see full-sized permanent license number affixed on motor-scooters… like boats have.

    Wheelie popping scooter hot rods should be banned from 2-wheel riding for 10 years.

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