Motorcycle crash closes Berlin Turnpike

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — Motorcycle crashes like the one shortly after midnight on Route 15 in the Wethersfield area happen more frequently in warmer weather.

This one involved four motorcycles, some carrying passengers. The riders have been identified as Jonathan Garcia, 27, of East Hartford; Devin Marques, 22, of Hartford; Lyzmarie Martinez, 20, of East Hartford; and Luis Vazqez, 23, of Hartford. Vazquez was the only one of the four not wearing a helmet.

State Police Spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said, “Certainly, this is the time of season where, in fact, we have many motorcycles on the roads and highways of Connecticut, and motorists as well as motorcycle operators themselves need to exercise extreme caution, especially this time of year.”

The injuries are serious, but at this time, not life threatening.

Three of the four operators had on helmets. In Connecticut, wearing a helmet is not required by law. It’s an option that is not endorsed by trauma surgeons.

Dr. David Shapiro, chief of Surgical Critical Care at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, said, “I want people to know that motorcycles can be fun and great devices to have, and if they want to have them, then that’s their right. The thing that we ask from the medical side is, if you’re going to ride on a motorcycle, use a helmet.”

Shapiro added, “The most severe are the head injuries. Head injuries, spine injuries and lots of internal injuries are the things we see all the time in motorcycle crashes. When people are traveling at high speeds, they all of a sudden stop. And everything inside them kind of sloshes around, including our brains.”

Shapiro stresses that wearing one minimizes what doctors see in the trauma room. The Centers for Disease Control’s stats show the incidence of a head injury decreases by 70 percent and the risk of death drops by 30 percent.

Meanwhile, investigators are looking into what led to this multi-motorcycle crash. Eyewitnesses are urged to call State Police Troop H barracks at (800) 968-0664 or (860) 534-1000.

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