A father and his ten-year-old son were thrown from the motorcycle they were riding in suburban Salt Lake City last week in an apparent road rage incident.
About 8:30 pm, last Thursday, September 4, Michael Rakes and his wife found an excuse to ride their Harleys out into the warm summer night. The couple rode to their son’s tae kwon do class.
“They picked me up with their motorcycles, and my dad had his helmet on, and he gave it to me,” ten-year-old Jeffrey Rakes told reporters.
Black Mazda Lit Cigarette
On the way home the Rakes family encountered 32-year-old Kris Prinster of Centerville, UT. Ms. Prinster threw a lit cigarette out the window of her black Mazda, according to a statement issued by Centerville police spokesman Paul Child.
The Rakes family’s 50-year-old father apparently resented having to duck the burning cigarette. So, Rakes pulled next to the Mazda and yelled at Prinster through her open window.
Witnesses say Prinster accelerated away from the bike. Rakes also accelerated and pulled next to her again. According to published reports, witnesses heard yelling from the two vehicles.
Some Slight Contact
Police acknowledge there was “some slight contact” between the Harley and the Mazda around the time Rakes lost control of his bike and crashed. Police spokesman Child’s statement says “it wasn’t clear whether the contact occurred before or after the rider lost control of the bike.”
Anyone who has ever ridden a motorcycle in traffic knows the three possible causes of the accident:
1. The car hit the bike;
2. The bike hit the car;
3. Or, the bike found a loophole in the laws of physics and just fell over.
Wife Saw It All
Rakes’ wife was riding her motorcycle behind her husband and son and witnessed the accident.
Michael Rakes was helicoptered to University of Utah Hospital in critical condition with severe head injuries. He was placed in a drug induced coma.
His 10-year-old son suffered a cracked ribbed, a chipped ankle bone and road rash. He was treated for his injuries at Lakeview Hospital and discharged.
Police say Prinster may be charged with littering and Michael Rakes may be charged with reckless driving.