Local community mourns after 2 fatal motorcycle crashes in less than 24 hours – WPXI

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HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania – A local community is dealing with two fatal motorcycle crashes in less than 24 hours. They performed last week in Hopewell Township.

“When you see something like this happen, it’s pretty disheartening,” Hopewell Police Chief Donald Sedlacek said. “Our heart breaks for them.”

A makeshift memorial now stands on Brodhead Road. It is the site of the crash that claimed the life of 23-year-old Christian McKenzie, just hours after 24-year-old Josiah Hufnagel died in a crash nearby.

It’s a nightmare for families and friends, but also for responders. Sedlacek says he called in Beaver County Mental Health to check on his first responders.

“The old school thought was ‘you’re a police officer. That’s what you have to deal with,” he said. “Mental health, fitness and well-being must be front and center today with law enforcement.”

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Also in the spirit of Sedlacek, to prevent this from happening again.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of motorcycle fatalities increased by 11% between 2019 and 2020. The 5,579 motorcyclists killed represent the highest total since 1975.

“Most motorcycle deaths can be prevented by being more aware of your surroundings, riding safely, without risky, reckless and reckless riding.”

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Chief Sedlacek also encourages motorcyclists to wear protective gear, especially a helmet. He says taking a safety course is also a good idea. They are free through PennDOT.

Both accidents are still under investigation.

Link to PennDOT Safety Course information: https://www.dmv.pa.gov/Driver-Services/Motorcyclists/PAMSP/Pages/default.aspx

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