MSHP says motorcycle fatalities are up by 414%; Springfield father says helmet saved his son’s life

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop D says motorcycle fatalities are up by 414% from last year.

Troop D says 72 motorcyclists who died in crashes this year did not have helmets on. Under Missouri law, motorcyclists 26-years-old and older are not legally required to wear helmets anymore.

One Springfield father is still encouraging other riders to wear their helmets on the road. Scott Taylor’s son Trey got into a motorcycle wreck back in February. Taylor said he would have lost his son if he had not been wearing a helmet.

“It saved his life,” Scott Taylor said. “No helmet, he’s dead on the scene. Probably instantly.”

The incident left Trey with broken bones all over, a destroyed femur, and most concerning, traumatic brain injuries. He has been recovering for the last several months.

”Trey is doing pretty well,” Taylor said. “He’s progressing as well as the doctors had hoped, maybe even better. He’s moving around pretty good.”

Taylor said months of rehab have paid off. While his son still has a limp, Taylor said Trey can now get around much better than he could a few months ago. Trey’s brain injury is improving, but the progress is slow.

“I mean, it’s definitely moving forward,” Taylor said. “We’d like it to move faster, and I’m sure he would too. But he’s he’s doing pretty good. He can have pretty good conversations with his friends and anyone else he wants to talk to. He’s got some improvement needed and executive function and thinking sequentially, thinking things out in the right order.”

Trey’s dad said it would be a completely different story had he not been wearing his helmet.

“His grandma had purchased that and he picked it out and she paid for it,” Taylor described. “He loved it. It’s destroyed now, but without that helmet, we’re not having this conversation. I’m not having any conversations with him. It saved his life. Yes, he did end up with a traumatic brain injury, but the helmet made it an injury that he can recover a lot from. So not only did it save his life, but it actually gave him a chance at some sort of future.”

His son is recovering and starting to do some of those old activities again, like spending some time on the water. Many have not been as lucky, however. Trey’s dad said he has a few other explanations on the increase in motorcycle deaths.

”I think a big part of it is that we have so many more motorcycles on the road,” Taylor said. “We’ve got a lot of kids riding. A lot more than I’ve ever seen. But they’ve got to be visible and people have to look twice, three times, whatever it takes to make sure that they’re safe before they turn before they leave a parking lot, etc.”

Taylor also said some bikers need to ride safer.

”It can’t be that crazy and dangerous zipping in and out,” he said. “That’s not good and it makes it harder for cars to see you.”

After almost losing his own son, Taylor said he cannot say enough about helmets.

”You’re not cool for not wearing a helmet,” he said. “That doesn’t make you cool. I understand the freedom, the desire to not have a helmet on. It’s not worth it. It’s just not worth it.”

Taylor also rides motorcycles and said he occasionally tells other riders without helmets about his son. He hopes his son’s story changes a few minds.

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