Steady files of motorcyclist roiled past the spot on U.S. 1 at Kanakakee, a few miles south of Bunnell, gaping and sometimes audibly cussing at the sight: a smashed up Yamaha motorcycle on its flank in the median, its engine crabbed by the mud it scooped as it obviously slid to and end there. On the west side of the highway, almost parallel with the Yamaha but smashed into the woodline, they could see a black Cadillac, its driver-side door sheared off, its engine’s hood coiled upward, its air bag flax after deploying.
The wreck took place at 3:15 p.m. and sent a woman and two men to hospitals, at kleast one of them by air (to Halifax in Daytona Beach), in trauma alerts, which required the highway to be shut down in both directions for about half an hour to enable Flagler County Fire Rescue’s Fire Flight to land and take off near the median. All three individuals are expected to survive.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol investigator at the scene, the Yamaha was piloted by a 35-year-old Kyle Jones of Hastings. Holly Robinson, 22, also of Hastings, was riding with him. The Cadillac was driven by a 67-year-old Raymond Girard of Gainesville. The Cadillac had a specialized U.S. Marine Corps license plate, a Vietnam Veteran decal on its rear windshield, and a black U.S. Marine Corps cap sitting at the foot of the passenger’s seat.
According to the trooper’s initial report (before he spoke to the victims), the Yamaha was traveling in the left lane, the Cadillac in the right, both going south parallel to each other. The Cadillac started to hydroplane, swerved into the Yamaha’s lane, and struck the motorcycle from behind. It sent the bike skidding across the pavement and into the median, ejecting Jones and Robinson. They landed in the median. The Cadillac swerved in the opposite direction, smashing on its right side into the woodline, a few feet from the East Coast Railroad’s tracks.
After speaking with the victims, the trooper reported that, in fact, the motorcyclists were in the right lane, the Cadillac in the left lane, and that the Cadillac “for unknown reason entered into” the motorcycle’s lane, hitting the Yamaha from behind. The release also states that both Girard and Jones were flown to Halifax with serious injuries. Robinson was taken by ground to Florida Hospital Flagler, with minor injuries. Note Kyle Jones’s description of the accident below.
The highway was shut down after 3:30 p.m. At 4 p.m., the northbound lanes reopened. One southbound lane reopened at 4:10, and both had reopened just before 5 p.m. The entire scene was cleared, with Jon’s Towing taking the wreckage away, just after 5 p.m.
No alcohol was involved. Girard was wearing his seat belt. Both bikers were wearing helmets. The 2006 Cadillac sustained $7,000 in damages. The 2002 Yamaha sustained $5,000 in damages.