Twenty-six members and associates of the Brother Speed Motorcycle Club were involved in a chain-collision motorcycle accident on Interstate 5 north of Portland, Oregon about 2 pm Friday afternoon. The crash happened at milepost 282 south of Wilsonville, Oregon.
A tight pack of 28 bikes was riding in the middle of three north bound lanes at about 70 miles an hour when two sport utility vehicles driving side by side panic braked in front of the pack for an unknown reason. Traffic was light, the road was dry, the sky was blue and visibility was good. The road captain and the leader of the pack, the lead two bikes, counter-steered around the SUVs.
The other 26 motorcycles did not stand a chance. An eyewitness described what happened next as “a pile of motorcycles.”
Brother Speed is a three piece patch club with ten chapters in Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana. Everyone in the pack was from Idaho. They had come to Oregon to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the club.
Ten bikers were injured seriously enough to require medical treatment.
Herbert Sinclair, 48, of Heyburn, Idaho, and David Bowyer, 44, of Coeur d’Alene were helicoptered to separate Portland area hospitals. Sinclair is in Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital and Bowyer is in Legacy Emanuel Hospital. Both men are listed in critical condition.
Juan Ramon Mata, 60, Christian J. Gankema, 40, and Gary Pawson, 38 were also hurt in the crash. They were transported from the scene by ambulance.
Police have not yet named the other injured motorcyclists or identified the drivers of the sport utility vehicles.
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Deputy John Naccarato described the scene as “a melee.” Five ambulances, ten fire engines and five police cruisers responded. The northbound lanes of the freeway were closed for four hours.