(With the Help of Daytona News Journal) Unfortunately, less traffic in 2011 than during the last years doesn’t mean less fatalities. Six people had died because of motorcycle-related accidents in Volusia County by Sunday night, law enforcement officials said. Five of the six people killed since Biketoberfest 20011 began Thursday were riding motorcycles and one man was riding a motorized bicycle that crashed into a motorcycle, authorities said. Last year’s event was marked by one death in a crash that killed a pregnant Port Orange woman and injured three other riders. One person died from a motorcycle-related accident during Biketoberfest in 2009 and two people were killed in motorcycle-related injuries in Biketoberfest 2008. In 2007, no traffic deaths were reported during the event, while five people died during Biktoberfest 2005.
The first bike-related death occurred on Thursday, the first official day of the festivities. Holly Hill police said a man riding a motorized bicycle swerved in front of a motorcycle and was killed in the collision. Witnesses said Rufus Jones, 48, had been weaving in and out of traffic along Ridgewood Avenue on the bicycle when he turned in front of the motorcycle driven by Scott Spencer, 56, of Ormond Beach, at Ridgewood and Eighth Street. The first two bikers killed Sunday were struck by a hit-and-run driver at 4:30 a.m. on westbound Interstate 4. FHP Sgt. Kim Montes said a Ford Explorer struck the rear of a motorcycle carrying 32-year-old Allison Sellers of Sanford and sped away. A 34-year-old Sanford man driving the motorcycle also was also killed, but his name was not released Sunday pending notification of family. The man was run over by at least two vehicles after the hit-and-run, according to a crash report. Police later found the Explorer broken down about five miles away in DeLand, and questioned a woman they believe was involved. Meanwhile, the driver of a westbound car trying to avoid the wreck went off the interstate, hit a tree and caught fire. The occupants escaped. The other two biker deaths Sunday occurred about 5:30 p.m. in Port Orange. A man and a woman on a motorcycle were killed at the scene when their bike collided with a small pickup. On Saturday afternoon, 50-year-old Shirley Boone of Oklahoma died after the motorcycle she was a passenger on skidded off I-4 near the Lake Helen exit, Montes said. The driver of the bike, Robert K. Jackson, 58, of Woodward, Okla., lost control of the motorcycle and was critically injured. Spencer suffered minor injuries, Holly Hill police said.