Sarasota County motorcycle crash raises concerns

The fatal crash took place last night in Sarasota County.
The fatal crash took place last night in Sarasota County.(ABC7)
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 7:31 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - After a fatal motorcycle and vehicle crash on Interstate 75 in Sarasota County late Friday night, many locals are concerned about the rise in accidents.

The motorcycle driver hit a van from behind, launching the rider onto the center lane. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead on the scene and an investigation is underway.

ABC7 spoke with local motorcyclists and employees at Hap’s Cycle Sales on 17th Street. Many of them said that often the crashes are a result of other vehicle drivers.

Every employee working at the shop at the time of ABC7′s interview said they had been in a crash before.

“There’s a large majority of people that are driving their vehicles that do not pay attention to motorcycles,” said Danny Roberts, Haps Assistant Parts Manager.

“My uncle was in an accident recently,” said Steven Bixler, Haps General Manager. “The car turned in front of him and hit him. It was the cars fault.”

Bixler is an advocate for motorcycle safety and explained that everyone who rides should wear a helmet as well as protective gear.

The Florida Department of Transportation has identified several factors that contribute to motorcycle crashes, and a main factor involves riders not utilizing safety devices.

The Haps General Manager said that aside from wearing a helmet, some riders wear vests that have airbag systems within them.

“Air inside the vest deploys to help protect your vital organs on the bike, so you can try and be safer while you’re riding,” said Bixler.