October 18 update–Olvis Harville, the 65-year-old biker involved in in Wednesday’s wreck on U.S. 1, died Friday evening from his injuries, the Florida Highway Patrol announced.
Harville was riding a 1992 Harley south on U.S. 1, just behind a friend riding another Harley, Jack Miller, 70, when Miller slowed down to make a right turn to enter the gas station at the corner with County Road 304. Harville struck Miller, both bikes overturned and Harville was ejected onto the grass shoulder.
Harville was taken to Halifax hospital in critical condition. He died on Friday (Oct. 17), and was pronounced at 6:59 p.m.
Both men had been visiting the Daytona-Flagler area for Biketoberfest. Charges are pending, according to FHP, which listed both men’s home town as Beaverton, Mich. The previous story is below.
Biker Critical, Another Hurt in 2 Crashes Involving 8 Bikes Within 90 Minutes on US1 and CR304
October 15–Biketoberfest 2014 doesn’t officially start until Thursday. Not so for Biketober wrecks.
One man was left in critical condition and others sustained minor injuries after two separate motorcycle wrecks involving eight motorcycles and a dozen bikers and riders unfolded within 90 minutes of each other at the same intersection of U.S. Route 1 and County Road 304, just south of Belle Terre Boulevard in Palm Coast.
The first and more serious wreck took place in the southbound lanes at 11:45 a.m., involving just two bikers. The Florida Highway Patrol and two paramedics were still at the scene for that one when the second wreck took place in the northbound lanes as a group of bikers who were apparently slowing down to make a turn onto 304 triggered a crash, with half the bikers going down.
At 11:45, Olvis Harville, 65, and Jack Miller, 70, two friends from the north-central Michigan town of Gladwin, were riding Harleys south on U.S. 1. According to Miller, he was slowing down to make a right into the Mobil station and convenience store at that intersection.
“Me and my friend were pulling into the gas station, and he just ran into me,” Miller said.
Gashes in that newly paved segment of US 1 tell the story. Harville’s black Harley went down some 30 yards north of the entrance to the gas station, and scraped down the pavement for 26 yards. A third of the way down, Harville lost his Poor Boy Choppers cap. Another third of the way, he lost his shades, with one the shades’ lenses shattering. The bike came to a rest on its side, facing east, away from the gas station.
Harville was evacuated by ground to Halifax Hospital’s trauma unit in what the Florida Highway Patrol, which was investigating the crash, termed a “possible fatality” on its crash log. (FHP arrived at the scene 14 minutes after the wreck.) One of US 1’s two southbound lanes was closed to traffic as the investigation proceeded.
Two Flagler County Fire Rescue Paramedics returned to the scene at around 1 p.m. to confer with FHP and draw blood from Miller to check his alcohol level. Drawing blood at wreck scenes is routine and does not imply impropriety or guilt. It was while the paramedics were there that the second crash unfolded in cascading screeches on the opposite side of the highway, sending one of the bikers tumbling from the center median to the right shoulder, according to oen witness. He was the most seriously injured of that group, and ended up with bandages on both arms, though he refused further treatment at a local hospital. His bike was no longer ridable A friend rode off to retrieve a trailer and drive it back up to New York.
“Most of the guys are from New York, and they got homes down here,” one of the riders said shortly afterward. “They come from Long Island, a few from New Jersey.” That rider had avoided the crash. He said riders’ inattention had led to the wreck: they may have been looking to their left, at the scene of the first crash, when the second wreck took place.
FHP called in the second wreck and the paramedics ran to the riders’ aid as several of the bikers rode their bikes into the gas station or parked them along the southbound lanes, inside the Palm Coast Fire Police’s cones. “Have you seen my helmet?” one of the riders in the northbound group—he wore an “Adolf Hitler European Tour” t-shirt that passes for hate-group humor—asked another.
By 1:30, the second wreck had been all but cleared and the northbound lane the fire police had closed was reopened. The southbound wreck was cleared not long after that.
Biketoberfest is scheduled to run through the weekend.
No seatbelts, no bumpers, no sides…60mph+ and on the same roads as cars and trucks. Be alert! It’s Biketoberfest, the cultural event of the season in this area. Oh yeah. Whoooppeee.
Seminole Pride says
Seniors on Motorcycles. Less reflex, strength and reaction time to handle a large bike,
PAY ATTENTION! The ads say that vehicle drivers need to look twice, well all the Bikers need look also! Both of these accidents were caused not by vehicle drivers but by the bikers they were traveling with! Slow down and eyes on the road!
Everyone needs to pay attention, and I definitely agree it’s critical during bike events (or any event where the traffic increases). But that particular intersection gives me the willies.
There are people going northbound on US 1 who try to u-turn at the 304 intersection, just to go into that mini-mart. Why they don’t just go all the way right onto 304 and then turn left into the store from there is a mystery. Meanwhile, southbound US 1 traffic has to contend both with people coming out of the store parking lot *and* traffic coming off 304 to get on US 1. And if that traffic has to make a left across the southbound lanes to go north, there’s no median for them to sit on in case they can only get halfway across.
Needs some more traffic engineering, there. Someone’s going to get killed trying to make a simple turn. Forbid U turns there or make that median crossover larger. Maybe even both.
These bikers always riding on the middle of the road, they think that the road belong to them