Major injuries in puzzling motorcycle jump at Applegate construction site

By: By Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - A motorcyclist entered a closed-off construction site in Applegate and suffered major injuries in a catapult Monday from a mound of asphalt.

The unidentified biker ended up underneath the motorcycle as it landed on the road and slid about 20 feet.

The severely injured biker was flown out by CalStar helicopter ambulance to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

California Highway Patrol Officer Eric Karla said the victim was semi-conscious by the time emergency personnel arrived after being unconscious for an estimated two minutes. He was taken to hospital with undetermined, major injuries, Karla said.

The crash took place at about 2 p.m. on Applegate Road, just west of Gilbert Drive, 3½ miles northeast of Auburn.

A section of Applegate Road has been closed for construction of a new sewer line and the crash occurred about 200 feet inside the construction zone.

The construction zone starts east of the crash site. It’s clearly marked and blocked off with “Road Closed” signs. Karla said at least one of the construction workers watched the motorcyclist as the rider “for unknown reasons” took the approach to the asphalt mound at about 30 mph.

While the motorcycle – a bright yellow Kawasaki ZR 7S – sustained minor scrapes, the rider suffered reported road rash and possible internal injuries.  The rider was wearing a helmet, Karla said.

The pile of soft asphalt the motorcycle rider rode off of is about three feet high and the material was being used to fill in excavated roadway. The tire track could clearly be observed sunk about two inches into the asphalt before the pile was taken away to be used in the roadwork project.

The Journal will update this story as more information becomes available about the identity and condition of the rider.