By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Two motorcycles were in two separate collisions in the same area of U.S. Highway 70 on Monday night just minutes apart.
The first incident took place at about 6:07 p.m. on U.S. Highway 70 just east of 11th Avenue.
According to a Safford Police report, a motorcycle ridden by Allan Rawson, of Palo, Iowa, was eastbound on the highway when a reportedly inebriated pedestrian walked northbound onto the roadway in front of the motorcycle. There is not a crosswalk in the area.
The motorcyclist reported not having time to utilize his brakes and to striking the pedestrian, identified as Matthew Parsons, 58, of Safford, with the motorcycle’s right handlebar.
Parsons, who was previously refused service in his attempt to purchase alcohol at 2 p.m. earlier that day at the Giant gas station at 750 S. 8th Ave. due to his level of intoxication, reportedly was still standing immediately after the collision but then fell over and struck his head on the asphalt.
Parsons was taken to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center (MGRMC), where he was treated for his bleeding head wound.
Motorcyclist thrown from bike after struck by vehicle
As an officer was working traffic control for the motorcycle versus pedestrian collision, a westbound vehicle driven by Juanito Garcia, of Thatcher, reportedly ran a red light at the intersection of 14th Avenue and U.S. Highway 70 and struck a motorcycle driven by Bryan Henager, of Graham County. The incident took place at about 6:14 p.m.
The officer reported he heard the collision and saw Henager ejected from his motorcycle. He was transported to the Emergency Room at MGRMC for neck and back pain, as well as scrapes on his arms and legs.
At the hospital, Henegar advised the vehicle ran the red light and struck his bike. Henegar was later released from the hospital.
Garcia allegedly told an officer that the setting sun was in his eyes and he couldn’t see well but thought the light was green so he continued through the intersection. Garcia was then found at fault for the collision for failure to control his speed to avoid a collision.