Expert warns motorcyclists to be alert after deadly crashes

Two riders were struck in separate crashes less than 24 hours apart

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two motorcyclists were involved in crashes in Northeast Florida in less than 24 hours and the family of a man who was killed on his motorcycle is reminding people to stay vigilant on the roads.

The first crash happened about 5 p.m. Sunday in Clay County on State Road 16 near County Road 315. The second happened about 10:30 a.m. Monday on Normandy Boulevard in Jacksonville.

Peter Barton, 67, was wearing a helmet when he was killed Sunday. Troopers said he was traveling west on State Road 16 near County Road 315 when an eastbound Hyundai turned into his lane and the vehicles collided.

The driver of the car and her passenger were both taken to Orange Park Medical Center with minor injuries.

Less than 24 hours later, another motorcyclist was involved in a crash on Normandy Boulevard near Bicentennial Drive. The road was closed for about four hours while troopers investigated.

A trooper told News4Jax at the scene the motorcyclist had serious injuries with several broken bones, but he is expected to survive.

A witness told News4Jax he was about to pull out of his driveway near the intersection of the crash and saw it happen. He said the motorcyclist was westbound and appeared to be going the speed limit when a driver turned out in front of him.

James Moore, a trainer with Jacksonville Motorcycle Safety Training, has taught motorcycle safety courses for about 14 years and has been riding for over three cades. Because It’s easy for drivers to miss motorcycles, he said motorcyclists have to be extra careful.

"Keep your head on a swivel," Moore said. "Watch out when you’re coming up to intersections. Watch out for people on cell phones, for people who may be intoxicated. I mean all the same stuff you would do in your car, but it’s even more important when you’re on your motorcycle."

Moore said motorcyclists need to remember four things:

  • No drinking and riding
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Take a training course
  • Be constantly alert

Barton, the man who died in Sunday’s crash, leaves behind two daughters and three grandchildren. His family told News4Jax he died doing what he loved, riding his bike. When the crash happened, he was heading back from Daytona where he spent the weekend with a friend working on motorcycles.