Motorcycle riders: "Please look twice and save a life" - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Motorcycle riders: "Please look twice and save a life"

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Source: TDOT Source: TDOT

(WRCB) - It has been a deadly holiday weekend on Tennessee roads with some of those accidents involving motorcycles. With May being National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, riders want everyone on the road to be alert.

The Dayton community and a motorcycle club in Rhea County are mourning the loss of a rider and his passenger after a deadly accident on U.S. 27. Their loved ones want to get the message out about motorcycle safety.

We also talked with another club about what they do to stay safe on the road.

"I lost a best friend and brother. And I lost my beautiful wife. And all I want to say everybody out there is, look twice, save a life," says Lee Ely in an emotional plea.

Ely's 38-year-old wife, Penny, was killed Saturday in Dayton, when a white Pontiac Grand Am pulled in front the motorcycle she was riding passenger on. The driver of the bike, 38-year-old Todd Tuckier, also died in the crash.

"In the last two and half years I've lost five friends on motorcycles," says Scott Buffenberger.

Buffenberger, known as Lucky, is the National Vice President of the Defiant Crew Motorcycle Club. He says it hard to process the loss of his two friends. He says drivers need to be more aware on the road.

"I guarantee you, one in three cars, somebody's either on the telephone or texting," says Lucky.

The latest numbers from the Tennessee Department of Transportation show a steady increase in the number of motorcycle fatalities in the last decade, with the number of deaths jumping from 42 in 1998 to as high as 148 in 2007. One hundred and fourteen riders died last year.

"It's a whole different ball game when you're on a bike," says James Schueller.

Schueller is the second officer and road captain for the Southern Cruisers Riding Club.

"The bugs, the cars, the trucks, the tires laying in the road. You know, there's just so many hazards out there. And you need to keep your senses tight right away," says Schueller.

He says he and other riders do their best to stay safe on the road and communicate with each other.

"This means single file. This means staggered. We'll point our leg or point with our hands just to let them know all the way back, it filters all the way back," says rider Sam Mosier, known as 'Elvis.'

Their message to other drivers is simple.

"Watch for motorcyclists, because it's easy to look right through them," says Schueller.

The crash in Dayton is still under investigation.

For more information on Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month or safety tips, click here.

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