Tragic weekend on Utah’s roads as three motorcyclists lose their lives

Apr 23, 2018, 6:06 PM | Updated: 10:03 pm

SANDY, Utah — It was a deadly weekend on Utah roads where three people were killed. All three of the deaths were motorcycle riders.

As the weather warms, more riders are on the road and safety officials worry the number of fatalities will only rise. One company is doing their part to help protect everyone on the road.

At Harrison Eurosports in Sandy, Vance Harrison’s love of motorcycles is only rivaled by his love of customers.

“Thanks for coming in,” said Harrison, as he smiled and shook the hand of someone walking through the door.

One of Harrison’s favorite areas of the store is a wall filled with pictures of smiling riders aboard their newly purchased bikes.

“This just represents happiness and I love it,” Harrison said.

Business is booming for the Sandy dealership as the snow melts and warmer temperatures move in.

“The first sunny day, everyone breaks out and just gets their bikes out,” he said. “It just gets the fever going.”

A few years ago, the way Harrison Eurosports did business changed.

“We had lost a couple of customers and had some fatalities in one season,” Harrison said. “It was just one after the next and it really affected our staff. We felt responsible in one way a little bit.”

So, they started offering free safety courses to their customers and they’re seeing a difference.

“We just assumed everyone knew how to ride and that is the furthest thing from the truth,” he said. “We really need to have (safety classes) be mandatory.”

Making safety classes mandatory is something that Troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol would like to see as well. Right now, riders are only required to pass a brief test at the DMV.

“A lot of people who have their bikes put away for the winter and they’re just now bringing them out, and you know, that is a perishable skill,” said Sgt. Danny Allen with UHP.

Sgt. Allen believes the responsibility doesn’t fall solely on the rider and this past weekend is proof of that.

“Two of those crashes was a car turning left in front of the rider,” Sgt. Allen said.

Ryan Smith, a 38-year-old from South Jordan died Sunday night in one of those crashes. He leaves behind a wife and daughter.  The Smith’s have set up a YouCaring page to help his family.

“People in their cars have to be vigilant and be actively seeking out motorcycles,” Sgt. Allen said.

Word of the three deaths over the weekend hit hard for the guys at Harrison Eurosports once again.

“I watched that news story last night and it broke my heart,” Harrison said. “They were even wearing helmets.”

Both Sgt. Allen and Harrison want to see change and more awareness on Utah’s roads, whether it’s behind the wheel of a car or on a motorcycle.

“It’s really all our jobs to looks out for each other,” Sgt. Allen said

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Tragic weekend on Utah’s roads as three motorcyclists lose their lives