One person was killed in a motorcycle crash Thursday night at the corner of 17th and Rollandet streets in Idaho Falls, authorities said.
The victim was identified only as an adult male, believed to be in his 30s.
A female passenger —riding on the back of the motorcycle — survived the crash and remained hospitalized late Thursday at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. While the extent of her injuries was not known, Lt. Curtis Stacey of the Idaho Falls Police Department said her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
The circumstances surrounding the crash still were sketchy at 10 p.m. Thursday as officers remained at the accident scene trying to determine what led to the 6:45 p.m. crash.
Bystanders told the Post Register that the victim appeared to have been racing with another motorcyclist up 17th Street toward Rollandet when the crash occurred. That report, however, could not be confirmed by police investigators.
Stacey did say a second motorcycle was near the scene of the accident when the crash occurred, but it was not known whether the pair had been racing.
The victim’s motorcycle appeared to have struck a large sign that stands on the corner of 17th and Rollandet streets. After hitting the sign, the riderless motorcycle reportedly traveled several hundred feet before crashing to the pavement and catching fire. The charred and broken bike remained on the pavement at 8:30 p.m .
Nick Fell, a cashier at KJ’s 17th Street Phillips 66 gas station and convenience store, didn’t witness the accident. Customers told him what happened, he said, and he went outside to see for himself. The business at 495 W. 17th St. is located on the opposite side of Rollandet where the motorcycle came to rest.
When Fell got outside, he saw the burning motorcycle.
“There were people standing around and (the motorcycle) and bushes were on fire,” he said.
Worried that the motorcycle might explode, Fell said he grabbed the store’s fire extinguisher and doused the flames.
A short time later, he said, police and emergency vehicles began arriving on the scene.