VAN BUREN, N.Y. — A motorcyclist was taken to a Syracuse hospital Sunday after the driver of a car failed to yield the right of way and their vehicles collided, Onondaga County sheriff’s Sgt. Jon Seeber said.
Fred Macchia, 74, of Rome, said he had stopped his 2017 white BMW X5 at a stop sign after exiting Interstate 690 West at Jones Road in the town of Van Buren. Macchia said he looked both ways and started to cross Jones Road, to get back onto the highway toward the Thruway. He said he never saw the motorcyclist.
Dennis DelCostello, 62, of Syracuse, was riding a 1999 Harley-Davidson Night Train motorcycle north on Jones Road when the crash happened at 2:51 p.m., Seeber said.
DelCostello was thrown from the motorcycle when it struck the driver’s side door of the BMW, Seeber said.
“He fell backward,” Macchia said after the crash. “I tried to help him, calm him down.”
The gas tank and speedometer on the Harley-Davidson were smashed, and the handlebars were broken. Parts of the motorcycle also were scattered throughout the road. And fuel leaked from the motorcycle, which was eventually moved to the side of the road.
Macchia and his front-seat passenger, Qiu-Qionv “Sandy” Hung, 52, of Rome, said they were both wearing seat belts and not injured.
As Macchia stood outside his dented car Sunday afternoon, he questioned why the motorcyclist — traveling north on Jones Road — was in the southbound lane when the crash happened. He stared at the sand placed on the fuel leak in the southbound lane near the median on Jones Road.
“You can’t pass on a double line like that,” Macchia said. “If he stayed on (the north) side of the road, he would have been OK.”
But Seeber said there was a logical explanation.
“(The motorcyclist) swerved to avoid the collision and that’s why the accident occurred where it did,” Seeber said. “He was trying to avoid a collision.”
Deputies say Macchia was following directions from a GPS to get to the Thruway; he then exited at Jones Road, instead of continuing on I-690 West, Seeber said. Hung, the passenger in the BMW, said she and Macchia had gone shopping at Costco Wholesale and were heading back to Rome when the crash happened.
The motorcyclist did not have a stop sign; Macchia did. Deputies told Macchia they thought he was at fault for the crash.
A deputy then handed Macchia a traffic ticket, charging him with failure to yield the right of way.
DelCostello suffered broken ribs in the crash. He also had chest pains and is continuing to be evaluated at the hospital Sunday night, Seeber said.
Brian’s Towing and Auto Repair Services towed the motorcycle from the scene. Lakeside volunteer firefighters and Greater Baldwinsville Ambulance Corps. also responded to the crash.