Another Washington airman dies in motorcycle accident

Aug 29, 2011

For the fourth time since April, an active duty member of the military has died in a high-speed motorcycle crash in western Washington. All of the victims were riding high-performance bikes known for giving their riders a dose of adrenaline.

The latest accident happened early Friday evening. According to the Washington State Patrol, 28-year old Brandon Butler – an Air Force staff sergeant – was exiting Interstate 5 at Tacoma at a high rate of speed. He tried to make a lane change, lost control and struck a concrete barrier.

Butler was riding a high performance sport bike that says has a top speed of 165 miles per hour.

Ray Ochs is with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation in Irvine, Calif. He says bikes like these are a top choice for members of the military.

"You're talking about a demographic that is buying mostly sport bikes now, especially the younger soldiers and service people," Ochs says. "They like the performance part of it and they may want to use the highway like their personal track."

Previously, three soldiers from Joint Base Lewis McChord died in similar sport bike crashes. The State Patrol now says two of those fatalities involved alcohol.

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