Seven people died and one person was critically hurt in a series of motorcycle crashes in the region over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
The crashes spanned from Maryland to Virginia and took the lives of victims ranging from 17 to 65 years old.
“This is a spike. We’ve had an inordinate amount of fatal crashes involving motorcyclists and their passengers this weekend,” AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson John Townsend said.
The string of fatal crashes began on Thursday when 65-year-old Gregory Anthony Davis Sr.’s motorcycle collided with a Honda HRV on Woodfield Road in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Photos from the scene showed debris scattered across the roadway as Davis’ Harley Davidson motorcycle laid on the curb.
On Saturday, 41-year-old James Edward Beach II crashed a Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R into an SUV when he ran a red light at the intersection of Lee Highway and Heathcote Boulevard in Gainsville, Virginia, police said. Beach died at the crash site and 22-year-old Shannon Nicole Meyer, a passenger on the bike, died from her injuries at the hospital.
Three more motorcyclists died on Sunday in three separate crashes, two of which were in Prince George’s County.
Hjalmar Melendez, 47, was riding on Kenilworth Avenue in Capital Heights, Maryland, about 3:40 a.m. Sunday when he was thrown off the bike.
“He lost control of his motorcycle, which ultimately ejected him off the motorcyle,” Cpl. Lamar Robinson told News4.
A car struck Melendez after he landed on the road, police said. The car, possibly a silver Nissan Altima, didn’t stop, according to police.
Prince George’s County police said another man was hurt after his motorcycle crashed Sunday afternoon near the intersection of MD-197 and Thompkins Lane in Bowie. The man was in critical condition.
Later Sunday, 17-year-old Oscar Hernandez died in a crash in College Park. Police said he crashed a motorcycle into a Hyundai while going the wrong direction and against a red light on Baltimore Avenue.
Traffic was backed up for hours on southbound I-95 in Woodbridge, Virginia, Sunday evening after a motorcyclist died in a crash with a BMW sedan. Virginia State Police later said the motorcyclist was weaving in and out of traffic. The man was not identified.
A man driving a motorcycle died Monday night after crashing off the roadway near the 1600 block of Richie Road in Forestville, Maryland, Prince George’s County police said. Police have not released further details about the victim.
According to AAA, Prince George’s County leads the metro area in fatal motorycle crashes. In Maryland, 347 motorcyclists died in crashes between 2014 and 2018. Of those, 74 happened in Prince George’s County.