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Two Killed In Motorcycle Crashes Within 24 Hours



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Newtown Police Department responded to two separate fatal motorcycle crashes within 24 hours last weekend, both involving young riders whose ages were just about a year apart.

According to NPD Captain Bryan Bishop, at approximately 11 pm Friday, June 24, Newtown Police responded to a motorcycle off the roadway in the area of 87 Riverside Road. The motorcycle was the sole vehicle involved in the incident.

The operator, Ryan Smith, 24, of Enfield, was pronounced deceased at the scene. There is a cooperative witness who observed the crash, Bishop said, and the incident remains under investigation.

Then, at approximately 5 pm Saturday, June 25, police responded to a car versus motorcycle crash on Sugar Street near Dodgingtown Road. The motorcycle operator, Harvey Lopez, 25, of New Haven, was transported to Danbury Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

The driver of the other vehicle remained on scene and is cooperating with the investigation. Police said no charges are expected, although that investigation is also continuing.

Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company, Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps (NVAC) and an on-call paramedic also responded to the Riverside Road fatality. Dodgingtown Volunteer Fire Company, NVAC and a paramedic also responded to the Dodgingtown Road crash.

These two fatal motorcycle crashes happening in such close proximity harken back to a period in 2017 when Newtown saw three motorcycle fatalities — two within five days of each other.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are an estimated 29 times more likely than people in cars to die in a traffic crash and 4 times more likely to be injured. In Connecticut, more than 50 motorcyclists lose their lives on state roadways each year. In 2021, there were 68 motorcycle fatalities in the state, the highest number in over 30 years.

In correspondence from Bishop, he stressed, “Newtown Police want to remind everyone to drive safe.”

Associate Editor Jim Taylor can be reached at jim@thebee.com.

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