Motorcycle safety awareness
In response to several motorcycle crashes in Colorado Springs, 11 News wanted to take a closer look at steps all motorists can take to ensure everyone on the road makes it home safely.
Rich Tolowski is shown a video by his wife every day as he lays in a hospital bed, showcasing how much his family misses and loves him.
Rich was riding a motorcycle on Highway 67 near Woodland Park when he crashed into the bike in front of him. An experienced rider, he was wearing a helmet and protective gear. Rich hit the pavement so hard the helmet came off while it was still latched.
Doctors say he will probably have permanent brain damage.
"I keep telling all the bikers to stop riding," said Rich's wife Kendra.
"That's my message."
A powerful message, but for those still wanting to ride there is more that can be done to ensure a safe ride home. The Motorcycle Training Academy in Colorado Springs says protective gear is important to wear, but it's not always a guarantee you won't get hurt.
Investigators say a man driving a truck tried to turn left in front of a motorcyclist, who was speeding.
"The number one cause for car and motorcycle accident: somebody turning left at an intersection," said Leslie Larson, a rider coach at the Motorcycle Training Academy. "Look twice, save a life, look again and make sure you're good to go."
Jordan Howard spent a year in the hospital recovering after a driver pulled out in front of him to take a left turn.
"I can walk and all that, so I'm thankful," Howard said. "I still ride, but what sets people apart that have been through it is you really watch for it now. Every time i see a side street or something getting ready to pull out, I make eye contact and put on the brakes."
In 2017 there have been four motorcycle traffic deaths in Colorado Springs.