Witness recalls deadly motorcycle crash on I-26

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A witness is speaking out about a deadly Friday morning motorcycle crash on I-26 near Downtown Charleston.

At around 7:40 a.m., a motorcyclist was thrown over the side ramp and landed on the ground at the 511 Meeting Street Apartments.

“You could hear a thud hit the ground and immediately I ran to the window next to my room and saw all these construction workers across the street running to help someone” said Tori Tappan, who saw the crash from her apartment.

“Every single person that has a balcony was out on it trying to see what was going on,” said Tappan.

Nearly thirty 911 calls came in.

“From the outside looking in, it moved a lot of people and it happened at a time where people were getting ready for work and getting out and about and so a lot of people saw this and I’m sorry that anyone had to see this,” said Lt. Paul Krasowski, with the Charleston Police Department’s traffic division.

South Carolina is among the top three states for motorcycle deaths.

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, 80 people have died in motorcycle accidents so far this year. That number reached 116 in 2020, 123 in 2019, and 141 in 2018.

Loose safety equipment laws may be partially to blame.

In South Carolina, helmets are only required for motorcyclists ages 20 years and younger. Nearly three-quarters of motorcycle drivers who have died on South Carolina roads in the past decade were not wearing a helmet.

Lt. Krasowski said that riders should always wear safety equipment and helmets, no matter their age, although he could not comment on whether the victim in Friday’s crash was wearing a helmet. He said that obeying traffic laws and speed limits is also important to keep everyone safe on the roads.

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