Ala., Ga. rank in top 20 states with highest motorcycle fatality rate

Updated: Jun. 25, 2019 at 6:24 PM EDT
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OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - Alabama ranks 15th in the nation for the highest rate of motorcycle fatalities. Georgia ranks 18th.

Tim Dilbridge died in a motorcycle accident in 2017 in Smiths Station, Alabama.

“He was the type of man who would do anything in the world for you," said Ricky Jones, a friend of Dilbridge." He would give you the shirt off his back if he thought it would help you. A big ol’ teddy bear kind of guy.”

Sebrena Jones said Dilbridge was an experienced motorcyclist.

“If he wasn’t at work, he was on his bike,” she said.

Dilbridge was 49 years old at the time of his death and was a Muscogee County Sheriff’s correctional officer.

“It’s one of those can’t believe he’s gone kind of things,” Ricky Jones said.

Dilbridge was one of 79 motorcyclists killed in Alabama in 2017. 139 motorcyclists were killed in Georgia in 2017. Though the number is higher in Georgia, the rate is based on the number of registered motorcyclists in the state.

“It’s not surprising," said Scott Brewster, service manager at Harley Davidson in Opelika. "The Southeast in general, we tend to have more opportunities for accidents. So, with that and the opportunity to have more people that ride and crowded areas equals more accidents.”

Other states topping the list are South Carolina, Texas, and Mississippi.

Sabrena Jones said she’s seen a trend in the deaths of motorcyclists.

“It’s people in four wheels not paying attention to two wheels,” she said.

Ricky Jones said he knows there is a risk when it comes to riding a motorcycle.

“It’s not if you’re going to wreck, it’s when you’re going to wreck,” he said.

But he wants people to be more careful of motorcyclists.

“I just want people to look out for motorcycle riders," Ricky Jones said. "Believe it or not, they are looking out for you”

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