Beech Grove, Indiana

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Three deadly motorcycle crashes in four days

Indianapolis, IN (April 4, 2024) - J’son Lamont Rinehart, his fiancĂ©e Ashley Kincanon and their three-year-old daughter Aria left a relative's birthday party on March 23. They left Martinsville separately, with Kincanon stopping at a candy shop in downtown Martinsville and Rinehart continuing his ride home on his Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle. Because the trip was long, Kincanon checked Rinehart's location on her phone while she was at the candy shop. It was a habit she developed after her older sister died in a car crash in 2021.

Kincanon's phone showed that Rinehart was at the I-465 onramp from Interstate 69. But his location hadn’t moved in minutes. She knew something was wrong and headed that direction. As Kincanon arrived, she saw emergency vehicles and rushed up an embankment to find out what was going on. When EMTs told her Rinehart had died, she fell to her knees.

Rinehart's family is one of three suffering in the wake of fatal motorcycle crashes over four days recently. Fatal motorcycle crashes have risen 20% in the past decade based on 2020 data from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, according to Forbes Advisor. The families left reeling are asking drivers to be aware of their surroundings on the road and the risks riders face.

Rinehart was 23 years old. He worked at Hoosier Heroes as a handyman and had just started studying software development at Ivy Tech Community College the week of the crash. Indiana State Police said that he was driving “at a high rate of speed” before the crash based on preliminary investigations. It is unknown what exactly caused the motorcycle to go down.

Days of fatal motorcycle crashes
Roughly a day later, Jordan Farrell was riding his motorcycle when a pickup struck him at East Raymond Street and South Sherman Avenue. The 25-year-old died in the crash. The driver of the pickup left the scene. Michael Crowdus has been charged in connection with the crash for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

And in the early morning of March 26, officers found Brent Markey at the northeast corner of East 30th Street and Pawnee Drive after crashing his motorcycle. He was taken to Eskenazi Hospital but died shortly after arriving. It was William Markey, his older brother, who taught Brent how to ride a motorcycle in his early 20s. He said Brent, who was 49 years old at the time of the crash, found it difficult at first, but soon developed a love for it.

“The first experience, he got on there and hit the accelerator and it kind of shook him,” William Markey said. “I told him, ‘Just take your time and we’ll get you there.’” William said Brent Markey quickly took to riding and enjoyed hitting the road together. Brent was a member of the motorcycle club Naptown Riders with his brother.

Brent Markey was on his way home from his job at Interstate Delaware and South, a towing company, when the crash occurred, William said. Interstate Delaware & South and Naptown Riders will have light-up memorial services for Brent Markey this week. For William Markey, what he'll miss most is the way his brother interacted with his family. Brent was close with his granddaughter and would always stop at the gas station to buy drinks or snacks for her on his way home.

“He was just loving to everybody and had a big heart,” William Markey said. William said drivers should understand that motorcycle riders have less protection on the road than someone in a car. “When you’re on a motorcycle, you won’t have that stuff around you. There’s no seatbelt on a motorcycle,” he said. Riders must be more aware when they're on their bikes, but he wishes drivers also paid closer attention to the events around them. “Every time I pass by there it’s just going to remind me that’s where my brother’s final resting place was,” William Markey said. “I’ll never forget that.”

Bikersinc is an Indiana nonprofit organization that began in 2012 and focuses on community, motorcycle history and veterans' issues. Biker Down Indiana is a program of the organization that informs communities about motorcycle crashes throughout the state. The executive director of Bikersinc, J.D. Duggar, said the fatal crashes are tragic. He believes that drivers and motorcyclists need to be conscious of each other.

"If everyone's looking out for the other guy, then we're OK," Duggar said. "That's cars, that's trucks, that's motorcycles." He encourages motorcyclists to take a motorcycle rider course and then receive their motorcycle endorsement.

Kincanon said safety was important to Rinehart. The only time he did not wear his full riding gear was when he rode to the gas station near their home, she said. “He never, ever left his house without his helmet on,” Kincanon said. Kincanon urges everyone on the roads to take notice of motorcyclists and leave space.

The 22-year-old mother is also expecting twin girls, Stormi and Skye. Rinehart chose their names the day before the crash. She wants the twins to know how much their father loved them. According to most recent available data from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, motorcyclists were 24 times more likely than those in passenger vehicles during a crash in 2021. The Indiana Department of Transportation advises drivers to pay special attention to motorcycles and to follow at least two seconds behind.

Learn more about how to share the road safely at INDOT: Safe Driving Tips.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: 3 deadly motorcycle crashes in 4 days: Families reeling, urge safety

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