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2 Fatal Motorcycle Accidents at Daytona Bike Week

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Posted on March 20, 2014

A motorcyclist from New York who traveled to Daytona to attend the Bike Week 2014 passed away in a local hospital after his motorcycle collided with an automobile. The fatal motorcycle crash marked the second accident-related fatality reported in either Volusia or Flagler counties during this year’s bike week, which kicked off on Friday, March 7th.

The motorcyclist was Christopher M. Converse, age 58, of Warrensburg, New York. Converse suffered severe trauma in a traffic accident that took place close to 8:20 p.m. on Saturday March 8th, according to Port Orange police Lt. John Jakovenko.

The car involved in the fatal traffic accident was driven by Patricia Webb, age 59, of Port Orange, who was not injured, Jakovenko added. Converse was taken by ambulance to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where he eventually succumbed to his injuries on Sunday, according to police. The motorcycle accident is still under investigation. Police are looking for witnesses and are asking anyone with information on the fatal crash to call Officer Jesse Pierson at 386-506-5838. No further information was provided and it was not made clear how the crash occurred, whether the rider was wearing a helmet or whether alcohol played any role in the accident.

Just a day earlier, the festival’s first reported death took place in New Smyrna Beach early in the morning on March 8th. Another motorcyclist, Mark Twining, age 46, from Springfield, Massachusetts, died in a single vehicle accident after his motorcycle ran off the paved surface on Riverside Drive and collided with a utility pole. In a third, but non-fatal motorcycle accident, another man who had been riding along with Twining suffered minor injuries when he crashed his motorcycle in Old Fort Park. Alcohol was a suspected factor in both of the crashes, New Smyrna Beach police noted. It was not made clear whether either of the riders had been cited in connection with the accidents.

Another Motorcycle Fatality Recorded near Daytona just Hours before the Festival Kick-Off

Just before Bike Week 2014 commenced that Friday, another motorcyclist visiting the Daytona area died in a Flagler County accident early on Thursday March 6th, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Peter Lonchar Jr., age 66, of Weirton, West Virginia, lost his life after he lost control of his motorcycle in a curve on U.S. 1 north of Seminole Woods Parkway and collided with a fence along the road, the FHP said. State troopers did not specify whether alcohol played a role in this fatal single-vehicle motorcycle crash.

Fatal Motorcycle Accident Statistics

  1. In 25% of fatal motorcycle crashes, the rider crashed into a fixed object such as a telephone pole or concrete bridge abutment.
  2. Any alcohol in a rider’s system increases the chance of crashing by at least five times.
  3. Wearing a helmet reduces a rider’s chances of death in an accident by nearly 40%.
  4. Each year, between 30-40% of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve some level of alcoholic impairment.
  5. Riding with a BAC equal to or over 0.05 (about 2 beers) increases a rider’s chances of crashing by nearly 40 times.


Daytona Beach News Journal