November 29, 2022

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Motorcycle crashes in Clarksville double; police track dangerous trend

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Clarksville Police Department is tracking a dangerous trend — accidents involving motorcycles are at their highest number since 2018.

The department reported 17 crashes so far this year, compared to the eight they responded to during the same time period in 2021. Now, they are reminding drivers, with warmer weather ahead, more motorcyclists will be on the roadway.

“His motorcycle was actually his favorite thing he had, he rode it to the gym every single day and rode it every opportunity he got. It was his favorite thing,” said Nicholas Harris.

On Wednesday, Nicholas’ brother, Joshua Harris, was killed in a motorcycle accident, the latest fatality. According to police, crews responded to a two-vehicle crash on Ft. Campbell Blvd, in front of Autozone. Police say, just before 9 p.m. the driver of a Ford Transit was making a left turn when a motorcycle struck the side of the van.

“I was speaking to Josh about an hour before that, and he said he was going to the gym. He goes to the gym every day, and I went to bed and was immediately awoken by my other brother’s call, saying what had happened,” explained Nicholas.

The news has hit the Harris family hard. Joshua was laid to rest on Monday, with the entire family wearing Hawaiian shirts in honor of him.

“Traveling all around the country, he saw most of it and he was only 21 years old, and he saw more than I’ve ever seen. He was always happy,” said Nicholas.

Joshua is among the 17 motorcycle crashes Clarksville Police have responded to this year. So far, 10 of them have resulted in injuries, and one was reported as fatal.

Below is the total number of motorcycle crashes Clarksville Police Department has responded to up to this point in the year:

  • 2018: 7
  • 2019: 5
  • 2020: 7
  • 2021: 8
  • 2022: 17

“With motorcycles being smaller, you know just the two wheels the don’t necessarily look that close when they’re looking for larger vehicles, and motorcycles could blend in with the background with the vehicle. So, we just want people to look twice,” said Scott Beaubien with the Clarksville Police Department.

Police said many factors that contribute to motor vehicle crashes include distracting driving, unsafe lane changes and improper turns.

Beaubien told News 2, 63% of accidents investigated turn out to be the motorcyclist’s fault.

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“Distracted driving is causing a lot of issues. You know we are hands-free Tennessee but people are still involved in their phones, and so the distracted driving is causing some issues, speed and again, inexperience driving,” explained Beaubien.