COUNTY POLICE INVESTIGATION OF MOTORCYCLE FATALITY ON HUTCH–ANOTHER WARNING ON MOTORISTS’ MOTORCYCLISTS’ DRIVING BEHAVIOR ON COUNTY PARKWAYS

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WPCNR POLICE GAZETTE. NEWS AND COMMENT. By John F. Bailey. September 28, 2020:

The Westchester County Police released the following media advisory over the weekend:

“(Hawthorne, NY) – A motorcyclist was killed Friday night in a three-vehicle collision that occurred on the Hutchinson River Parkway near East Lincoln Avenue in Mount Vernon.

The collision, which occurred about 9:30 p.m. in the northbound lanes of travel, involved two automobiles and a motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle was ejected off his vehicle, went airborne over the center divider and landed in the southbound lanes of travel. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His identity is being withheld pending notification to his family. The full circumstances of the crash are under investigation by the Westchester County Police Accident Investigation Team.

Westchester County Police are also continuing the investigation into another deadly crash that occurred early Friday morning on the Cross County Parkway in Mount Vernon. In that incident, three persons were killed about 2:30 a.m. when the driver of a Toyota lost control of his vehicle, causing it to strike a guard rail and roll over.

The deceased in that crash are identified as: Garibaldi Reyes-Jerez, 22, of West 170th Street, Manhattan; John Pena-Martinez, 24, of Creston Avenue, Bronx; and Maria Vasquez-Guzman, 16, of Grand Concourse, Bronx. They were passengers in a vehicle driven by Yordany Bautista-Hernandez, 21, of Tiebout Avenue, Bronx, who suffered minor injuries in the crash.

The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed at this time. Anyone who witnessed the crash on the Cross County Parkway is asked to contact Detective Brandon Amlung at 914-864-7728 or via email at bma1@westchestergov.com. All calls or emails are confidential.

These two accidents are not isolated.

As a person who drives the Taconic Parkway regularly on the weekends, I am surprised there are not more of these tragedies. I have never seen the speeding, impatience, and poor judgment of impatient motorists and motorcyclists on the parkways of Westchester County than I have this year.

Motorists unhappy with vehicles ahead of them going 60 to 65 miles per hour (10 miles over the speed limit), routinely tailgate, look for an opportunity to cut into the lanes to the left or right of the slower car ahead (often cutting to the inside) and explode around the car ahead of them.

They narrowly miss cars they are cutting in front of to floor it more than the 65.

The wary driver, has to look frequently in the rearview mirror to be able to avoid or get out of the way of the Taconic cowboys heading for an early ticket to Heaven.

There is very little speed enforcement.

In the 40 miles I drive northbound and south bound, I see a lone Trooper Car, once in awhile. But obviously the trooper cannot catch too many. And getting into traffic, moving on out, to catch the cowboy, is not always safe or easy to do. They have a tough and dangerous job.

It is time the Westchester County put Overhead Speed Freeze Photo cameras on the Sprain, the Saw Mill, the Hutchinson River Parkways and the Taconic, and Route 9.

A speed camera would pay for itself even more than redlight cameras. Westchester County could wipe out its $150 Million deficit a matter of months and turn a surplus.

The fines would be increased and the violations would be amazing up.

Another behavior that skilled motocyclists seem unable to resist is flying up the highway as fast as they can possibly obtain. Hopefully not with your daughter riding behind the dashing young man. Hopefully no aging motorcycle enthusiast with a family would do that.

We have all seen the lone motorcyclist in the review mirror flying out of nowhere with the thundering whine and his cycle cutting in front of you narrowly missing the car he is cutting in front of. These are “closies” that often have a cyclists’ life saved by the prudent braking of the car the motorcyclist cuts off.

Another phenomena are the groups of weekend motorcycle friends roaring up the Taconic as a pack and they want to stay together and weave in and out of the passenger car traffic at a higher speed enjoying the freedom of the choppers. Most do this responsibly but at a higher speed. Sometimes the last cyclist in following the group, just manages not to get clipped by the car being bypassed.

I love the social distancing and comradeship the motorcycle convoys represent and the Harley mystique and the motorcycle jacket with the club names. But please be careful on the mass passes on your love of the openroad.

Motorists, you are the biggest offenders. You have to realize that if you tailgate at 80 you have no margin of error when you pass.

The happy individual motorcyclist obsessed with his or her speed and the adrenaline of flying down curvy Westchester highways and two lane roads, must realize this not a movie, you are going 90 miles an hour down a dead end street. When there’s sudden slower traffic ahead, to avoid you have no margin, and they may clip you. You are roadkill.

24 hour video tape cameras on the same overpasses can observe frequent motorist reckless behavior and have trooper technicians issue mail summonses, by the way.

I mean no disrespect to motorists in a hurry or motocyclists out for this romantic and satisfying experience.

I am not trying to take away your rights or your right to experience the edge of performance.

Just perform responsibly.

The County might consider motorcycle Saturdays on the Bronx River Parkway. Imagine thundering through Scarsdale the BRP all to yourselves.

The County though could open a supervised motorcycle park of tracks and paths strictly motorcyclists and bicyclists (on separate hours.)

Remember no one wants the next motorcycle or motorcar trip to be your last.

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