Motorcyclists beg drivers to pay attention after nine rider-deaths this year | KOB 4
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Motorcyclists beg drivers to pay attention after nine rider-deaths this year

Brittany Costello
May 07, 2018 06:13 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – We're just five months into the year and our roads have already seen 84 motorcycle-related crashes and nine motorcycle-related fatalities, according to data collected by the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization.

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One family says they became part of that number after two family members on bikes were hit in the past week.

The loud buzz of cars rushing down the interstate is a sound many residents have grown accustomed to, but every so often there's an even louder growl barreling out of a vehicle much smaller than most.

“I have to drive as if nobody sees me at all,” said Natasha Callahan, an Albuquerque resident. “When I am on my bike I’m revving, I’m loud – I’m trying to be seen.”

Callahan said that mission of being seen is often unsuccessful, as was the case last Thursday for her fiancé Matthew Chavez.

“Just pay attention. This is my fiancé, he is also a father, he’s a cousin, he’s a brother, he’s more than just a person on a bike," she said. "He has a lot of family and we all have a lot of family who we want to come home."

After being involved in an accident involving a car, Chavez suffered broken bones all over his body and is now living from surgery to surgery.

“They don’t have any metal around them. It's just their body against the pavement against your vehicle,” said Samantha Vigil, Chavez’s sister.

After all that, the family's priority is pretty simple.

“I don’t want to blame it on cell phones, texting and driving, music and driving (or) kids," Callahan said. "When you’re driving, take a little bit of time to slow down and pay attention to everything around you, because it could be someone’s life."

Courtney Serda said her husband was killed last October in a motorcycle crash on Tramway.

“He was my other half, you know,” Serda said. “I started dating him when I was 14. We had been together a long time and I was pregnant. So it was hard, it’s really hard."

But there's some easing of that pain as new signs on highway overpasses remind drivers to share the roads.

“I think, at the end of the day, if that sign just changes one person’s mind and improves one person life that’s worth it,” Serda said.

Credits

Brittany Costello

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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