Speed thrills, then kills, on Division St.

See why when a speeding motorcycle rider T-boned an SUV, the result was death …

An officer from Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division uses a laser/GPS measuring device to carefully document the accident that took the life of a motorcyclist who police say was racing another bike.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Warm spring days and evenings bring out fair-weather motorcycle riders. Unlike full-time riders, these occasional bikers often misjudge their skill ability.

Such was the case on May 9 when 33-year-old Scott A. Jones, authorities say, was racing his 1,200 CC Suzuki motorcycle against the rider of a Harley-Davidson on SE Division St.

Grinding crash described
“We just came out of the little store,” says witness Juan Juarez, “and we heard two bikes really winding up, coming up from 122nd. It was like a movie. The guy on the Suzuki T-boned this red truck. Smashed right into the side of it. He didn’t look so good.”

Marla Hooper also saw the crash. “I don’t know how they [the racing motorcycles] could get going so fast in a couple of blocks. A red truck pulled out to turn left [westbound] on Division ‚Äì the next minute one bike smashed into it. The Harley was in the center lane; he just kept going. I don’t even know if he saw the wreck.”

At the scene, Sgt. Dan Costello, Traffic Division, Fatal Investigations Team confirms, “We had two motorcycles racing east on Division from 122nd Ave. A Ford Explorer at 125th and Division St. come to a legal stop, looked both ways, and started to pull out on to Division going westbound.”

Death results from crash
Costello tells us that no drugs or alcohol were suspected in the crash. “It was simply a speed contest; it was a race. The driver of the Suzuki, I call it a ‘pocket rocket’, ran right straight in the middle of the Explorer.”

Jones, the diver of the Suzuki, was unconscious and unresponsive at the scene, Costello reports.  Jones died while en route to Emanuel Hospital.

Although highly maneuverable, a “pocket rocket” like this 1,200 CC Suzuki provides the rider little protection when t-boned into a car or truck.

Speed Kills
Investigators from the PPB Fatal Investigations Team determined Jones’ excessive speed was a factor in the collision.  No charges have been made, as the case is still under investigation.

Investigators would like to speak with the individual Jones was racing at the time of his collision.  The second motorcycle was described a Harley-Davidson with extended handlebars and blue, ground-effect lights.

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Barry Busse at (503) 823-2103.

© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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