PHOENIX — Arizona
**** 3-29-10 Update: There was a big turnout of bikers to pay homage to the downed bikers who were killed and injured in the horrible accident. You can see a video by clicking here.
**** 3-27-10 Update: 4th person died in this crash. I have modified the title to reflect this fact. The victims, and the person who caused this crash are also identified. You can read about it, and see a video by clicking here.
**** 3-26-10 Update: Here is a link to another article on this horrible crash and a video. Click Here
A group of eight motorcycles stopped at a red light in north Phoenix were mowed down from behind by a dump truck early Thursday afternoon, killing three riders and injuring six others, at least one critically, authorities said.
The most seriously injured was an off-duty Phoenix Fire Department captain who was in very critical condition Thursday evening, said Phoenix police spokesman Detective James Holmes.
The motorcyclists were stopped behind a pickup and a small SUV at the red light when the truck driver rammed them from behind, he said. The truck ran over the motorcyclists and continued into the small SUV in front of them, Holmes said.
There was no sign the truck driver was impaired.
Some of the motorcycles burst into flames under the dump truck, while others ended up scattered behind the truck. Television images of the crash site showed a horrifying collection of mangled chrome Harley-Davidson bikes and scattered personal belongings, including pairs of riders’ boots laying in the roadway.
“It’s a horrific scene,” Phoenix Fire Deputy Chief Frank Salomon said.
Some of the injured were airlifted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Salomon said.
The crash occurred about 1 p.m. at the intersection of 27th Avenue and the Carefree Highway. Holmes said at least one of the victims was a woman, but most were men.
Jarrod Cook, a worker at the nearby Ketzal Mexican Grill, said he saw several motorcycles wedged underneath the garbage truck, which caught fire.
“The first thing we saw was a big puff of smoke when the truck lit on fire,” he said.
Cook said he walked over and witnessed a chaotic scene with some of the injured lying on the ground.
Dozens of police and rescue personnel responded to the crash.
Phoenix Fire Department spokesman Jonathan Jacobs told KNXV-TV that witnesses reported seeing several of the motorcycle riders dragged 50 to 75 yards after impact. The three bikers killed were trapped under the truck, Jacobs said.
The 50-year-old driver of the truck was not injured and was being questioned by police. Those in the pickup and SUV also were not hurt.
The Carefree Highway was expected to be closed for several hours as police investigate the crash.
Although I am a California Motorcycle Accident Attorney and Biker Lawyer, I ride through Arizona all of the time. As a matter of fact, I will be riding through Arizona in a couple of weeks. I am absolutely appalled by this accident.
You tell me how a truck driver could not see 8 motorcycles parked at a red light, let alone the red light itself. Absent some catastrophic equipment failure that can be proven, the truck driver in this accident needs to be taken down by the man for murder or vehicular manslaughter.
This accident is absolutely atrocious and horrible.