Police provided more details regarding a July 29 collision between a 1923 Ford convertible car a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Previously in a July 29 police release to media, Fleetwood Police reported that at 2:52 p.m., Linwood Gift, 67, Mohrsville, driving a 1923 Ford convertible, made a left-hand turn from a parking lot onto Kutztown Road (Route 222) near Richmond Road, in front of a 2004 Harley-Davidson motorcycle driven by Maximo Serrano-Garcia, 73, Reading.
Serrano-Garcia fell off his motorcycle and struck his head. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash and sustained a head injury, police said. He was transported to Reading Hospital via Life Lion EMS. Gift told police at the scene that he was not injured, according to police.
At the time of the police release to media on July 29, police were still investigating the collision. On Aug. 10, Fleetwood Borough Police Chief Steven Stinsky told Berks-Mont Newspapers that the information sent to media outlets is a press release and not the official accident report: “A brief recap of incidents that may be of interest to the general public with information that is available at the time. It is not meant to be a comprehensive accounting.”
Regarding the July 29 collision between the 1923 Ford and the Harley, Stinsky said, “He (Gift) pulled out and about 2 seconds later, the motorcycle ran into him.”
Reader complaints prompted a need to ask for more information regarding speed.
Stinsky responded on Aug. 14 that the crash was a result of several factors, keeping in mind that at the time of the initial response the vehicles involved were moved from the point of impact and the responding officer had to rely solely on any witness accounts as there wasn’t much, if any, physical evidence to consider.
“After reviewing the video, which came after the initial police response the investigating officer made the observation, that it looked like Unit #2, the motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed. This was voiced by the officer who observed the video because in the video you can see that the car pulls into the road, the motorcycle enters the frame and about 2 and a half seconds later the motorcycle strikes the car. There was no actual or estimated speed attached to the officer’s statement and there really can’t be because all he saw was a video without knowledge of what compression algorithms, resolution or frame rate the video was recorded at,” Stinsky said.
Stinsky noted the following facts: The speed limit on that straight section of SR 222 is 55 mph. At least one witness who was traveling behind the motorcycle in traffic said that the motorcycle was going about 35 mph.
“The driver of the car pulled out of a parking lot turning left onto southbound 222. It is incumbent on him to ensure the roadway is clear and can be safely entered. When he made the turn he immediately went into the southbound lane rather than initially entering the center turning lane in an effort to ensure the roadway was in fact clear,” Stinsky said. “Just prior to the car making the turn a line of vehicles passed in front of him going northbound.”
“What we do not know is whether the driver of the car perhaps didn’t see the motorcycle because of the northbound vehicles blocking his view or did he pull out of the parking lot without fully checking for southbound traffic because he saw a break in northbound traffic giving him the opportunity to pull out,” he added.
Stinsky said that the motorcycle rider was not properly licensed to operate a motorcycle.
“Which could mean the operator of the motorcycle was inexperienced which created a slower reaction to the entry of the car into his lane of travel,” he said.
“Bottom line is after impact both vehicles stopped almost immediately (prior to the intersection of SR 222 and Richmond Rd) and were moved off of the roadway,” Stinsky said. “I would tend to believe that had this crash occurred even at the posted speed limit of 55 mph there would’ve been a more significant debris field and it would’ve taken longer for the vehicles to come to rest after the point of impact.”
The Ford sustained moderate front passenger side damage and was towed from the scene by Isamoyer’s Towing.
The Harley-Davidson sustained moderate front and driver’s side damage and was towed from the scene by Isamoyer’s Towing.
Walnuttown Fire Company, Fleetwood Fire Company and fire police assisted on scene.
The roadway was not closed and traffic was not detoured during the investigation.