National News

NDOT warns drivers to be alert for motorcyclists after two fatal crashes this week

Posted July 27

— There have now been 20 motorcycle deaths this year.

Two happened just three days apart this week.

Now, there's a warning out for drivers to pay attention.

"All I can say is that we're going to miss him bad," said David Escamilla, grandfather of Blake Escamilla, who died in a motorcycle crash Thursday.

The Nebraska State Patrol says it happened in Valley.

Troopers say a semi-truck driver tried to turn left onto Highway 36 from Old Highway 275.

That driver ended up hitting and killing 24-year-old Blake.

"He's got a brother named Tanner -- older brother, and a younger sister named Isabella and I can't imagine what they feel like," David said.

Another family is going through the same thing.

Omaha police say just three days ago, 40-year-old Bryan Muhlbach lost control of his motorcycle while switching lanes.

It happened near 204th Street on West Dodge Road.

"He was very family oriented, liked to go on vacation a lot," said Muhlbach's nephew Dillan Burris. "I think It's one of those things that hasn't set in yet. it's such a shock to the whole family."

The Nebraska Department of Transportation says the 20 motorcyclists' deaths this year are equal to the number crashes during the entire year in 2016.

It also shows the number of people for motorcycle training courses have gone down from 2,400 people in 2012 to a little more than 1,500 in 2016.

"This isn't a law enforcement thing," Burris said. "People just need to pay more attention to what they're doing on the road. I think it's a wakeup call for everybody."

This Friday, the Nebraska Department of Transportation will use overhead message boards to help remind drivers to share the road safely.

The message will read: "I watch out for motorcycles. Do you?"

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