2 killed in city cycle accident

Police say operator was drag racing

pregnant woman hit

April 09, 1999|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

A motorcyclist who was drag racing in East Baltimore last night struck a pregnant woman, killing her and himself, police said.

Both unidentified victims suffered extensive head and torso injuries and were pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins Hospital a short time after the 8: 35 p.m. accident, said Sgt. Scott Rowe, a city police spokesman.

Police were searching for the other motorcyclist, who did not stop to help the victims.

The accident, which occurred at North Avenue and Castle Street, was witnessed by two police officers.

Officer Michael Reno of the Eastern District said he and his partner were interviewing the occupants of a car at North and Collington avenues, about three blocks east of the accident scene, when they heard the roar of the motorcycles.

"We looked west toward the sound of the engines, heard a thud and saw the woman and the driver of the motorcycle that hit her fly into the air," Reno said.

He said the woman landed about 50 feet away and the man fell several yards beyond her and tumbled toward the Chester Street intersection.

The names of the victims were being withheld pending notification of their families, Rowe said.

Reno said the motorcycle fell on its side and skidded more than 100 yards before it came to rest in the middle of North Avenue, between Chester Street and Collington Avenue. The vehicle was demolished.

Rowe said residents told police the other cyclist slowed down at Chester Street, then sped away.

Parts from the motorcycle and clothing worn by the victims were strewn along North Avenue between Castle Street, where the woman was struck, and Collington Avenue, where the motorcycle came to rest, a distance of more than 200 yards.

Rowe said witnesses told police that two motorcycles took off together from a red light at eastbound North Avenue and Washington Street, about 200 yards from Castle Street.

The motorcycles were parallel and traveling at high speed seconds before the woman was struck, the witnesses said.

Neighborhood residents told police the noise of the engines could be heard several blocks away, Rowe said.

Rowe said the woman, who was 19 and about five months pregnant, was crossing North Avenue at North Castle Street from south to north when one of the motorcycles, a 1998 or 1999 750 cc Suzuki Srad-Cafe hit her.

A few feet before the impact, the operator applied the brakes, leaving heavy skid marks on the street.

Police said the motorcycle was traveling more than 60 mph when it struck the woman.

"It was probably going closer to 90," said an officer familiar with motorcycles, who did not want his name used.

He said the Srad-Cafe weighs 700 pounds and can reach 60 mph in 2.1 seconds.

Traffic investigators using high-technology computerized equipment remained on the scene for several hours, reconstructing the accident.

Pub Date: 4/09/99

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