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‘I thought I was gone:’ Crash survivor is victim of alarming increase in motorcycle wrecks

May 4, 2019

The North Carolina Department of Transportation and DMV have seen an alarming increase in the number of motorcycle crashes across the state this year, with 147 fatal crashes reported since January.

From his hospital room at WakeMed, with his fiancée by his side, John Pacheco is recovering from almost a dozen broken ribs, severe road rash and other serious injuries.

“I thought I was gone,” he said. “I kind of went to try to stand up. I just buckled right under and that’s when I said, ‘Oh God’ and started calling for help.

Pacheco survived, but the driver who hit him kept going.

The crash happened on U.S. Highway 301, near Richardson Street in Selma. A police report shows Pacheco was stopped at a red light when a vehicle hit him from behind, running over him and his motorcycle.

Pacheco’s fiancée, Kimberly Jones is a paramedic. She feared the worst when she got the news.

“That was so hard, doing what I do as a paramedic, it’s hard when it’s your own,” Jones said.

With the weather improving, more motorcyclist will be on Triangle roads. The state Highway Patrol cautions everybody to think about safety first.

“I think we need to understand that those motorcyclists do not have the protective measures around them that we do whenever we’re traveling in a motor vehicle such as a car or truck,” Sgt. Michael Baker said.

Three deadly motorcycle crashes have been reported in Wake County this week alone.

Pacheco said he’s grateful his helmet likely saved his life and minimized any head trauma.

“Share the road, be aware,” he cautioned drivers.

Police said the vehicle that hit Pacheco is a black Chevy Malibu with Florida license plates and damage to the under carriage.

Due to the extent of his injuries, Pacheco said his recovery will be long and difficult.

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