Local fatalities illustrate bad trend in motorcycle accidents
Caleb Roch, a 20-year-old Champaign Centennial graduate, was killed in a motorcycle crash in June.
His death and those of a Broadlands couple, a Westville couple, a Champaign man, a Clinton man, two Mattoon men and an Indianola man drive home a tragic trend: More people, locally and nationwide, are dying in motorcycle crashes.
Motorcycles were only one of many interests of Mr. Roch, according to his father, Terry Walters of Champaign. He was studying criminal justice at Parkland College and hoped to become a police officer.
"He was a 20-year-old man who had many, many positive influences on people around him," Walters said. "It was hard to lose him, but we have a strong faith. And at his visitation, we came to know so much more. Young people, old people, people we didn't even know, came to tell us little things he did."
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said his office reviewed the circumstances of the death of Mr. Roch, concluding that it was an accident.
According to Champaign police, Mr. Roch was riding a motorcycle and tried to pass a semitrailer truck on Interstate Drive on June 18. The truck was turning into a business drive, when the motorcycle hit it and slid under a truck wheel.
In another recent Champaign County case, a coroner's jury ruled the deaths of William Orndorff Jr. and Julie Orndorff of Broadlands were both homicidal deaths. Mr. Orndorff, 42, was driving a motorcycle and his 34-year-old wife was his passenger on the back when they were struck from behind by a van on County Road 200 N near Park Street in Broadlands about 9:25 p.m. July 12.
David Black, 42, also of Broadlands, faces charges of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under license suspension, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and driving an uninsured vehicle.
The Orndoffs, who are survived by five sons between the ages of 2 and 16, were motorcycle enthusiasts and enjoyed camping with their boys.
Allen Ordorff, a brother to William, said there have been recent motorcycle fatalities involving his friends as well as his family.
"This is hard on family and friends," he said.
Other recent area fatal motorcycle crashes:
— Ronald Huffman, 64, of Clinton died in a crash west of Ogden on April 23. Delt Baines, 66, of Champaign was pronounced dead on April 24 at Carle Foundation Hospital. Both were driving motorcycles west on U.S. 150 and were struck by an eastbound car driven by Frank Barber that crossed over the center line.
— Chad Hagan, 23, of Westville was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash just south of the Vermilion-Edgar county line on July 26. Kimberly Hagan, 22, died at Carle Foundation Hospital at 8:38 p.m. July 26. Mr. Hagan was driving the motorcycle and his wife was riding on the back. Marie Lazzell, 76, of Danville was driving a car south on Illinois 1 and went into the northbound lane and struck their motorcycle.
— Frank Cloyd, 23, and David Moutray, 43, both of Mattoon, died as a result of a double motorcycle crash on Aug. 6. Mr. Cloyd's motorcycle ran into Mr. Moutray's bike as both were headed north on U.S. 45 about 11 that night one mile north of Mattoon on U.S. 45.
— Raymond A. Ingram, 52, was killed Aug. 8 when his motorcycle was struck by a farm tractor. Mr. Ingram was eastbound on the Indianola-Sidell Road when a westbound tractor driven by John Corbin turned off the highway into a field west of Sidell.
Sources: Champaign, Edgar, Coles and Vermilion county coroners