The State Patrol has responded to five crashes this month in Thurston and Pierce counties that involved motorcyclists, according to Trooper Guy Gill.
“We are reaching the height of our motorcycle-collision season,” he said. “This is when everyone is taking the opportunity to get out and enjoy the nice weather.”
Christopher L. Fee, 30, of Centralia was riding a motorcycle north on Interstate 5 on Aug. 1 near Maytown when he changed lanes and hit a pickup.
The crash shut down the interstate. Fee was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with serious injuries and allegedly was driving under the influence.
Another motorcycle crash was reported Friday night in Bear Canyon, 10 miles west of Morton. David R. Weaver, 65, of Lacey was headed west on state Route 508 when he failed to turn, drove off the road and hit a guardrail.
Weaver was treated for a concussion, scrapes and bruises. He was cited for speeding.
A Tennessee man was killed Sunday morning trying to pass a car on Interstate 5 near Gravelly Lake Drive.
Thomas J. Wear, 59, was riding a 2011 Harley-Davidson north on the interstate and struck a 1997 Subaru Legacy.
“That was speed-related; he was making erratic lane changes,” Gill said.
Two crashes were reported Monday afternoon – one in Pierce County and the other in Thurston.
The first was at 5:15 p.m. on southbound Interstate 5 near Porter Way, involving a 44-year-old Anderson Island woman hitting a motorcyclist and another car that were stopped for traffic.
Toree J. Halstensen hit motorcyclist Brian C. Barbon, 36, of Tacoma, and caused him to drive into a 2008 Honda Civic driven by Dameion W. Lazenby, 30, of Monroe, according to the State Patrol.
Lazenby and Halstensen were uninjured. Barbon was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma with injuries.
Halstensen is accused of vehicular assault and was booked into Pierce County Jail.
A second crash was reported about 8 p.m. Monday at Offutt Lake and Marshall roads, 5 miles north of Tenino.
Christopher M. Hanson, 30, of Yelm was riding a motorcycle east on Offutt Lake Road and went off the road into a ditch near Marshall Road.
Hanson was flown by helicopter to Harborview Medical Center. Alcohol is thought to have played a role in the crash.
Gill said the increased number of crashes usually lasts through mid-September, depending on the weather.
He has seen more drivers switching to motorcycles and scooters as an alternative means of transportation to save on gasoline costs.
“It doesn’t matter what you are on – a 50CC scooter or a 1400CC sports bike – you have to ride within your ability, know your limitations and you need to be making sure you maintain your skill level,” he said.