I just read this on the R1 Forum, and know there are a lot of folks from Michigan on this list. I hope this is no one from here. Damn shame. RIP rider.
Dragon claims life: Man falls over 80-foot cliff to death
Daryl Sullivan/The Daily Times
Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Ernest Marion measures the 95-foot distance a motorcycle dropped off a cliff after the driver lost control on the Dragon section of Calderwood Highway.
By Mark Boxley
of The Daily Times Staff
A Michigan man fell to his death Thursday evening after losing control of his motorcycle on the Dragon and sliding off an 80-foot cliff.
The identity of the driver was not released, pending notification of his family.
The call was received after the accident by emergency personnel at 6:52 p.m. The incident happened near Mile Marker 7 on Calderwood Highway (U.S. 129, also commonly known as the Dragon).
According to Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Ernest Marion, it appears that the motorcycle driver “lowsided” his bike by applying too much braking pressure on the front wheel while taking a curve — which caused the slide. The man then slid with the bike over the edge of the highway, down an 80-foot cliff and landed on a small ledge in a heavily wooded area off the side of road. His black 2005 Yamaha motorcycle continued on for another 15 feet, coming to rest 95 feet below the road.
Larry Brown, a Fort Wayne, Ind., motorcycle rider in Tennessee on vacation, was one of the first people on the scene. He was alerted to the wreck by a pair of riders who were rushing down the highway looking for someone to call 911. Cell phone coverage in the area is sporadic, so Brown told them to try a store farther up the road. In the meantime, because he knew CPR he attended to the driver while emergency personnel were on their way to the accident.
When he got to the injured driver he was still breathing and had a pulse, Brown said. Emergency personnel were apparently not able to resuscitate the driver, and the man ultimately did not survive the crash. As a fellow motorcycle rider, Brown said seeing the severely injured driver and the accident scene left him “very uneasy.”
Speed was not a factor in the accident, Marion said. “Not at all.”
According to Brown, the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the wreck.
No other information on the circumstances surrounding the fatal accident was available Thursday.
Along with THP, Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Blount Special Operations Response Team (BSORT), Blount County Fire Department, Blount County Volunteer Rescue Squad and Rural/Metro Ambulance Service responded to the accident.
This is the 15th traffic fatality in Blount County this year.