No Helmets in Recent Midland Motorcycle Accidents

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A recent rash of motorcycle accidents in the area and one common denominator: No helmets.

In Texas, there are restrictions, but no explicit helmet law requiring bike or motorcyle riders older than 21 years old to strap a helmet on.  Currently, state lawmakers don't plan to enact one. However, after three Midland motorcycle accidents in the past week some say it's a good idea.

Midland resident Robert Gotcher rides his Harley-Davidson around the Tall City regularly, but he said he never forgets to strap on his skid lid.
 
"There's no protection, when there is an accident on a motorcycle, you're wide open," Dr. Terry Beck, with Midland Memorial Hospital, said.

Gotcher doesn't have to wear a helmet, but he wants to in case the unthinkable ever happens again.

"I did have an accident when I was sixteen years old, on the streets of Houston," Gotcher explained. "And if it wouldn't of been for a helmet, I probably wouldn't be here right now."

From Eisenhower and Wall, to East County Road 120, to Garfield and Siesta: All dangerous motorcycle accidents, and no signs of anyone wearing a helmet.

"The main thing that we see, that we worry about on motorcycle accidents, is head injuries and of course those are predominately in riders who are not wearing a helmet," Dr. Beck said.

Not every motorcycle driver finds themselves in that kind of an accident, but doctors told NewsWest 9 Thursday you have to stay cautious on the road.

"A majority of accidents occur within a five mile radius of our home, and that's where we spend a majority of our time driving, and that's the reason a majority of our accidents happen in that five mile radius," Dr. Beck added.

Gotcher said he also uses protective gear on his dirt bikes too.

"I know that helmets are hot, they are uncomfortable, they're not cool, but it's a necessary evil for sure," Gotcher said.

It's important to note not everyone of the recent Midland accidents has been fatal. 40-year-old Johnny Emberlin, who was in a crash Tuesday night is in critical condition, but he is expected to recover. 

Doctors told NewsWest 9 whether you hit someone else or someone hits you, it is always a good idea to wear a helmet.