Photo by Joe Chitwood
After the wreck: Mom holds the bike and the rescue crew helps the man, who is still on the ground.
A motorcyclist who stopped in North Platte to rest a few minutes on Friday morning ended up in the hospital after he was hit in the back with a runaway tire near 12th and Jeffers. Officers arrived at the scene around 11 a.m., where one of the tandem wheels came off a trailer pulled by a pickup. The wheel rolled east on 12th St. and hit the man, who was standing beside his motorcycle.
The biker was traveling home to Port Arthur, Texas after attending the Sturgis motorcycle rally.
His mother was traveling on a three-wheeler with him. The two pulled into the edge of the parking lot by Lutheran Family Services for a water break before continuing their trip.
"I was right behind him, standing, when I saw this tire coming at him and hit him," his mother said.
The tire came off a trailer that was pulled by Brian Starr and his wife of Mullen. They had just made a left turn from Jeffers onto 12th St.
The driver of a Paulson’s cement truck behind them saw the tire roll away from the axle and across the intersection. The wheel hit the biker square in the back, knocking both he and the bike over.
His mother said the truck and trailer did not stop, so she jumped on her bike and caught them.
Starr said that they didn't realize they had lost a wheel. Without her, they would not have known about it until they reached their destination at Menard’s.
Starr said he just had the trailer's bearings replaced.
"I guess that shows the quality of these Chinese bearings we get these days," he said.
The injured biker was transported by ambulance to Great Plains Health medical center.
The motorcycle suffered minor damage to the tank. The bike and his mother's three-wheeler were taken to Bill Summers North auto sales for safekeeping.
His mother, who was visibly shaken, was taken to the hospital to be with her son.