Teen dies after motorcycle crash

Friday, May 23rd 2008, 5:25 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

A teenager died after crashing his motorcycle into a creek in southeast Oklahoma City on Friday afternoon, and officials said they fear motorcycle crashes will continue to increase.

The teen was reportedly under water before emergency crews arrived on the scene near SE 149 and Peebley Road. The 15-year-old boy was pronounced dead after being transported to a nearby hospital. Authorities said it's the latest in an increasing number of motorcycle wrecks.

"Last weekend we had a total of 10. One of those was a dirt bike and another an ATV, and one of those was a fatality," Trooper Betsy Randolph said.

Statistics for Oklahoma show motorcycle accidents ending in death or an injury have doubled in the past 10 years.

Randolph said an as gas prices continue to soar more drivers are turning to motorcycles to save money. 

Troopers fear the more inexperienced cyclists on the road will cause more wrecks.

Osvaldo Melegatti said he knows how dangerous motorcycles can be.  The Midwest City man lost his leg in an accident when he was 16.  He and his friend were both knocked into comas.

"He was 23 days in a coma and I was 8 days in a coma," he said.

Despite the dangers, businessman Clay Ridley says the bike business is booming.

"At 50 miles to the gallon, motorcycles just make more sense," he said.

Ridley said bikes are coming with newer safety features such as third wheels and automatic transmissions.