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SALT LAKE CITY — There have been an unprecedented number of motorcycle deaths in Utah this year and the trend does not seem to be slowing down. Two more crashes involving motorcycles happened this weekend, killing two people.
At least 35 people in Utah have been killed on motorcycles so far this year. It’s on pace to set a record and that has state safety officials very concerned.
“I’ve been riding for about 10 years,” said Lisa Miller, a motorcyclist and a spokesperson for the Utah Department of Transportation.
She and her husband know all about the freedom and the risks that come with riding motorcycles.
“We have had close calls and I think most of our friends can say the same,” said Miller. “It’s always very hard for us when there are fatalities in the motorcycle community.”
This was a hard weekend.
“We had two sport bikes that were southbound on State Street at a high rate of speed,” said Lt. Craig Martinez with the Orem Police Department.
Saturday just after 9 p.m. near 300 S. State in Orem, a 20-year-old man from Saudi Arabia was killed after he crashed into an SUV that was turning left in front of him.
Police say he was going 70 miles per hour — 30 miles per hour over the speed limit.
“He was wearing a helmet, but when you hit a car going 70 miles an hour, there’s not really any piece of safety equipment that can help you out,” said Lt. Martinez.
Then, early Sunday morning in West Valley City, another accident occurred. Police say a man and a woman were riding on a motorcycle near 5400 South and 7000 West. They lost control on a turn and crashed.
The woman was killed and police say the man is not expected to survive. High speed is also being investigated as a cause.
“Aggressive driving on a motorcycle, it’s just a no-no,” said Miller. “Any time we see a rise in fatalities on our roadways it’s very concerning,” she said.
Miller says there are typically more fatalities overall during the summer and it’s up to motorcyclists and drivers to look out for each other and for themselves.
“It’s really very important as a motorcycle rider to always make sure that you’re very visible to other cars around you,” said Miller.
She also stressed the importance of wearing proper gear while riding a motorcycle, not just to protect your head but also your body.