UPDATE 5/17: Man Charged In Death Of Motorcyclist

EASTPOINTE (WWJ) – Eastpointe Police say a motorcyclist involved in a deadly crash Tuesday morning was not wearing a helmet. They also say the other driver involved was apparently drunk.

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Lt. Dave Ernatt said around 2:30 a.m. a motorcyclist was traveling eastbound on 10 Mile Road toward Gratiot when he was hit by a westbound traveling pickup truck attempting to turn onto a side street.

“The front of the pickup truck struck the motorcycle and threw the motorcyclist onto a nearby lawn,” said Ernatt.

When EMS crews arrived, the motorcyclist was declared dead at the scene.

“The motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet when the accident occurred,” said Ernatt. “We’re not sure at this time whether his not wearing a helmet contributed to his death.”

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Ernatt said preliminary investigation shows the driver of the pickup truck, a man in his early 20s, had been drinking. He is being held on driving while impaired charges. Other charges may be brought by the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office.

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Police are not releasing the victim’s name until next of kin are contacted.

A friend of the driver of the pickup truck, who did not want to be named, said she was following behind in her vehicle when the accident happened.

“I turned back around, you know, and I saw the crash and I ran over there and saw a lifeless person and, you know, nobody likes to see that,” she said. “At that point I actually tried to breathe life into him. I’m not exactly CPR certified but I really did my best. But at that point, there was really nothing you could do.”

Rresidents who were awoken by the crash described the scene as “horrific.”

“I was laying in my bed watching the news, I was watching COPS matter of fact, but anyhow I heard a loud boom and I got scared. I thought actually somebody was trying to get into my house it was that loud. So, I got out and I seen the accident and the man’s body and everything out there. He looked like he was lifeless, like he was killed instantly on impact,” said Katrina Bennet.

Just over a month ago, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill into law that lets motorcyclists choose whether or not they want to wear a helmet. The law applies to Michiganders age 21 and up who have additional training and insurance. Read more, here.

Since the new law allowing motorcyclists to go without a helmet went into effect, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning says there have been 2 other fatal accidents.

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All totaled, there have been 146 motorcycle accidents, 16 involved bikers who weren’t wearing helmets. There were five fatal motorcycle accidents and two of those five weren’t wearing helmets.