Crashes put motorcyclists on defensive

PORT ANGELES – Motorcyclists on the North Olympic Peninsula said they take defensive riding very seriously, to the point they consider themselves invisible on the road.

“We share the road, but we’re the ones that get the run of accidents,” said Monte Cotton, owner of Olympic Powersports in Port Angeles.

“I pretty much pretend I’m invisible. I always leave myself room, never ride alongside anybody, either forward or behind them,” said Cotton.

Cotton rides a ST1000 Honda and a 1976 FXE Harley-Davidson.

He has never had a crash or had to lay his bike down, he said.

But three local motorcyclists were not so lucky last week, and two others barely were.

A crash Monday on the Morse Creek curves of U.S Highway 101 east of Port Angeles claimed the life of Donald Niel Davison, 51, of Sequim.

A second crash that day, at Washington and Ninth streets in Port Angeles, sent 25-year old Christian Gentry to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

He was listed in stable condition Saturday after having regained consciousness Friday.

The family has created a Web site about Gentry’s condition: www.caringbridge.org/visit/christiangentry.

On Thursday, a pileup involving three cars and one motorcycle closed Highway 101 for 90 minutes near Wal-Mart.

James Charles Hunt, 53, riding his Yamaha, was taken to Harborview, where he was treated until he was discharged on Saturday.

Kenneth Mount, 23, of Port Ludlow, and his female passenger, Melysa Willmon, 22, of Port Hadlock suffered minor injuries when Mount fell trying to make a corner on state Highway 112 on Saturday.

The crashes are a reminder that drivers need to look for motorcycles as well as cars in traffic, said Trooper Brian George, a spokesperson for the State Patrol.

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