A group of four Jacksonville motorcyclists who had been at a bike meet in Palm Coast crashed on I-95 near the Old Kings Road overpass as they were riding home Tuesday evening.
They were each on his or her own motorcycle. All four were ejected. Two of the four riders were killed, including a 22-year-old woman–a competitive bike racer–and a 29-year-old man. A 36-year-old man and a 25-year-old man sustained minor injuries.
The riders had been attending the weekly “Bike Nite” at Woody’s BBQ on Flagler Plaza, off State Road 100. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the group was approaching mile marker 296 at the north end of the county nearing 10 p.m., all in the left-most of the three northbound lanes. An SUV was in the center lane. “For an unknown reason,” FHP reports, the four motorcyclists “collided into one another. The collision caused all 4 riders to be ejected into the roadway.”
Subsequently, the SUV struck the 29-year-old rider. The man and the woman were pronounced dec eased at the scene. The two other riders were taken to AdventHealth Palm Coast with non-life threatening injuries. The occupants of the SUV, a 48-year-old woman who was at the wheel and a 16-year-old girl, both of Jacksonville, were not injured.
The northbound lanes of I-95 were closed for approximately six hours as the investigation proceeded.
Witnesses who spoke with authorities at the time of the crash spoke of seeing the bikers race in and out of their lane before the crash. Two emergency helicopters were placed on standby but never took off, and several rescue vehicles initially requested were cancelled.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office initially responded, as did the Palm Coast Fire Department and Flagler County Fire Rescue, before the scene was turned over to FHP.
The 22-year-old victim had reportedly been showing a new bike at the meet, and days ago had been racing on a track and posting video of her feats. “I don’t know what to say other than ‘wow’! I thought horses gave me an adrenaline rush,” she wrote (she also rode horses), “this is another level.” Another of the riders in the group days ago had posted an image of his motorcycle stuck in traffic at sunset on a Jacksonville bridge and written: “Moments like this make you look at life and wonder where will I be in a year!”
The crash resulted in the 12th and 13th fatalities on Flagler County roads this year, three of them involving motorcyclist.