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Motorcycle accidents leave 5 dead in Florida

A series of three unrelated motorcycle accidents have killed five bikers in Florida. The crashes all occurred on the same day, around the time that a famous Florida biker rally, Biketoberfest, was winding down. While police are uncertain of whether the crashes were related to the event, Biketoberfest attracted over 100,000 bikers. Central Florida highways saw an unusually high number of motorcycles over the weekend when the accidents occurred.

The first accident occurred around 3 a.m. on Oct. 16, when a motorcyclist lost control of his vehicle and struck a concrete median. The motorcycle flipped, causing its 49-year-old driver to be thrown into the air. Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol said the motorcyclist died at the crash scene. They have not yet determined what might have caused the accident.

Another fatal motorcycle accident occurred later that day when a motorcycle collided with a pickup truck, throwing the motorcycle's driver and passenger from the vehicle and killing them. FHP troopers said they do not believe either of the motorcycle's riders was wearing protective helmets. The driver of the truck sustained light injuries. Police have not yet announced whether any charges will be filed in connection to the incident.

A third crash occurred when an SUV struck the back of a motorcycle carrying two people. This caused the motorcycle to overturn, throwing both of its riders and killing both of them. The motorcycle's passenger was then run over by at least two vehicles, whose drivers stopped at the crash scene. A third car struck a tree while trying to avoid the motorcyclists, causing it to catch fire.

The driver of the SUV that reportedly caused the accident did not stop after the collision, but police found the abandoned vehicle several miles away from the scene. The FHP say they have identified a possible suspect in the case, but have not announced whether any charges will be filed.

Source: Orlando Sun-Sentinel, "Five killed in separate motorcycle crashes Sunday," Amy Pavuk, Oct. 16, 2011

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