Two deadly wrecks on first night of Bikefest - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Two deadly wrecks on first night of Bikefest

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Two deadly accidents on just the first night of Bikefest, and now South Carolina Highway Patrol is looking to remind everyone to drive safe.

The first crash happened in North Myrtle Beach. There, a motorcyclist in town from Georgia hit a boat being towed in front of him.

Then a few hours later, a North Carolina man died off Highway 17 near the Myrtle Beach Mall.

South Carolina Highway Patrol says this is not how this weekend was supposed to start. “We've got to do better,” said Cpl. Sonny Collins. “Motorcycles have got to drive responsibly, wear their protective gear, motorists, we need to look out for motorcycles,” Cpl. Collins said.

Corporal Collins with Highway Patrol says there are already more deaths on the roads for this year's Bikefest than last year. Both happened off Highway 17 on the north end. Charles Luster, visiting from Chicago said, “17 gets real hectic because it's high speeds. Everybody's trying to get everywhere in a hurry.”

This isn't Luster's first Bikefest. He says, besides the traffic loop, everything is just about the same as in the past.

As a biker, you have to have your head on a swivel because you can't count on every driver seeing you. “You've really got to be on your P's and Q's out there because a car might see you, might be looking dead in your face, but really not see you,” Luster said.

Collins with Highway Patrol agrees. He says bikers need to ride defensively and look out for themselves. For folks behind the wheel of a car, he says give yourself plenty of space behind a bike. Their speed can be hard to judge, and bikes can stop much quicker than a car can.

“Just simple, simple driving habits that we always talk about,” Collins said. “They just have to be amplified with all the people down this weekend,” he said.

Highway Patrol says tonight will be very busy on the roads, but tomorrow is really the peak for traffic. Troopers say the best advice is to give yourself plenty of time when going anywhere.

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