Austin EMS sees increase in motorcycle crashes during biker rally
Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services officials had reported a total of six motorcycle accidents spread across Friday and Saturday
AUSTIN — With a higher volume of motorcylists in the Austin area for the Republic of Texas Biker Rally, authorities are seeing an increase in motorcycle crashes this weekend.
The annual rally, centered at the Travis County Exposition Center, is billed as the largest motorcycle rally with paying, ticketed attendees in the United States. The event has been known to draw 200,000 attendees, although only about 35,000 will have tickets.
The rally kicked off Friday with a parade that started at 7:45 p.m. at the Expo Center, headed south on Decker Lane to FM 969/East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard before rolling through East Austin neighborhoods and ending at the State Capitol on Congress Avenue. The rally will conclude Sunday morning after a church service.
By Saturday afternoon, Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services officials had reported a total of six motorcycle accidents spread across Friday and Saturday, with six individuals receiving treatment.
Three of the crashes resulted in serious injuries, according to EMS officials.
On Friday, a woman estimated to be in her 50s was taken to Dell Seton Medical Center with serious, not expected to be life-threatening injuries after a motorcycle vs. vehicle crash along Barton Skyway around noon. Officials did not disclose if the woman was driving the vehicle or the motorcycle.
A man in his 30s was taken to South Austin Medical Center with serious, not expected to be life-threatening injuries after a crash at 4900 McKinney Falls Pkwy. at 7:11 a.m. Friday.
An adult male and female were taken to Dell Medical Center on Friday with serious, not expected to be life-threatening injuries as a result of a crash at 7311 Decker Lane around 7 p.m., just before the parade kicked off. Officials did not have information on their ages.
Last year, within the first 24 hours of the rally, Austin-Travis County EMS medics reported at least eight motorcycle wrecks, with 10 riders being treated. Two of the incidents resulted in major injuries, medics said at the time. Three people were hospitalized the first night after two motorcycles crashed into each other outside the Expo Center.
Austin-Travis County EMS Public Information Officer Mike Benavides reminded Austin drivers to always be mindful of motorcyclists, especially this weekend.
"Austin-Travis County continues to advise motorists always and especially during this weekend to always look twice for motorcyclists in the area, along with pedestrian and mobility traffic on scooters," he said. "It's always better to look twice to ensure there are no hazards in the way."
©2019 Austin American-Statesman, Texas