Motorcycle rider flown to UMC after collision

Eric Burk Photo/Gila Valley Central: An investigator examines a crashed Suzuki motorcycle.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – A motorcycle rider who was thrown from his bike in a collision on 8th Street on Monday was later flown to a Tucson hospital for continued treatment.

Officers were dispatched to the intersection of 8th Street and 11th Avenue at about 3:23 p.m. regarding a collision between a yellow, 2005 Suzuki motorcycle and a tan, 1998 Chevrolet sedan.

Eric Burk Photo/Gila Valley Central: This yellow Suzuki T-boned a sedan after the sedan pulled out in front of it on 8th Street on Monday.

According to a Safford Police report, the Chevrolet, driven by Linda Bingham, 66, was southbound at the intersection and attempted to cross 8th Street to continue onto 10th Avenue. At that intersection, 11th Avenue turns into 10th Avenue south of 8th Street. As the Chevrolet proceeded into the intersection, the westbound Suzuki collided with the rear, driver’s side.

Eric Burk Photo/Gila Valley Central: This sedan was struck by a motorcycle while pulling out of 11th Avenue onto 8th Street on Monday.

The motorcycle rider, John Wile, 43, was apparently launched over the car and onto the street. His helmet was found approximately 20 feet from the point of impact.

Paramedics with Lifeline Ambulance treated Wile at the scene and transported him to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center (MGRMC), where he was treated and then flown to Banner-University Medical Center Tucson, according to Ryan Rapier, MGRMC Director of Public Relations. UMC public relations did not immediately call back with an update on Wile’s condition.  

Eric Burk Photo/Gila Valley Central: The motorcycle rider’s dislodged helmet was located about 20 feet away from the impact point.

Bingham allegedly told an officer that she had stopped at the stop sign at the intersection for two other vehicles before proceeding through. She said she didn’t see the motorcycle until just before the collision.

That stretch of road along 8th Street is notorious for having blind areas that can be difficult to see vehicular traffic, especially lower profiled vehicles. The speed limit along that stretch of 8th Street is 25 mph. Residents in the area described hearing a loud slam and said they knew right away it was a car crash due to previous collisions at the same location.

Officers did not report any speeding for this collision or immediately assess blame, but the initial report did advise that Bingham failed to yield from the stop sign.

The roadway was reopened by officers at about 4 p.m., and the motorcycle was removed from the scene by Nutcracker Towing.