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Drivers urged to watch for motorcyclists following 3 deadly crashes in western Pennsylvania

Several western Pennsylvania communities are mourning after three deadly motorcycle crashes over the weekend.

Pennslyvania State Police tell Channel 11 a Jeep missed its turn into a Dollar General along an Evans City road Sunday, so the driver made a U-turn at the next street. A speeding motorcycle was heading in the same direction and hit the back of the Jeep, throwing Tyler Coon, 29, from the bike. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An employee inside the store said they heard the collision and took action.

“We heard this really loud crash and we were concerned what was going on so we both ran outside,” Max Ptrle said. “We saw a bike laying in the middle of the road and people stopping on the sides here yelling ‘call 911.’”

Coon was a regular at the Harmony Inn, a restaurant in the borough’s National Historic District. The restaurant shared a post on Facebook Monday, calling Coon a “cherished member” of their family. An employee tells Channel 11 Coon was funny, loved restoring old cars and was a genuine soul.

“I balled like a baby. He was a really good guy, he was too young for this to happen so soon,” said Carly Rape, Coon’s friend.

Also on Sunday, along Route 422 near Duffy and Mercer roads, Gabriel Bishop, 22, of Butler, was killed in another motorcycle crash. Butler Township police say he tried to pass a truck and clipped the back of it. His family on a GoFundMe page says he “was such a light and force. His contagious smile and easy ways made people flock to him.”

On Friday afternoon in Harmar Township along Freeport Road, Joe Draxinger died in a motorcycle accident. His son created a GoFundMe page saying another driver allegedly tried making a U-turn when his dad was hit. Right now, Allegheny County police are investigating that crash.

PSP tells Channel 11 that as the weather gets nicer, there are more bikers on the road and they see more motorcycle crashes.

“We see the lesser experienced operator of the motorcycle leading into the crash and or I haven’t been riding my motorcycle in quite a long time. It’s nice out you see the open road and want to go can lead to not negotiating a curb properly, excessive speeds,” Trooper Rocco Gagliardi said.

“It’s the season of motorcycles. Everyone who doesn’t ride, just be aware of all the motorcycles on the road. It’s a dangerous thing,” Rape said.

For drivers, state police urge being extra aware of the motorcycles on the road right now. State police also suggest bikers wear the proper safety gear.

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