On Monday afternoon in Keller, a devastating motorcycle wreck claimed the life of one person and severely injured two others in a car. Cody Wilkerson witnessed the entire wreck and has decided to share his story with the Dallas – Fort Worth motorcycle riding community.
Motorcyclist Joseph Crucie, 21, was riding on Monday at speeds that appear to have exceeded 100 mph on U.S. 377; the crash was reported at 2:42 p.m. near Kroger Drive. The rider was traveling northbound when he began weaving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed. The point of impact occurred when a Lexus carrying four people turned from the southbound lane into a shopping center. The rider hit the passenger side of the car and both the bike and rider were tossed onto and over the car according to Capt. Brenda Slovak, a Keller Police Department spokeswoman.
The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office has listed the cause of death for Crucie as:
Massive blunt force trauma of torso and extremities due to: Motorcycle-Motor Vehicle Collision (Motorcycle Operator).
One element that makes this particular story different from others is that Cody Wilkerson was a witness to the entire situation and he has stepped forward to share what he saw. Wilkerson and Crucie did not know one another but Wilkerson, as an avid Corvette enthusiast and former sport bike rider, lends a unique level of credibility and he wrote to share his thoughts here:
Some of you may have known Joe Cruice. I did not. However, we met yesterday afternoon in one of the more tragic moments of my life. Just after turning onto Denton Highway, I noticed a little Suzuki GSXR about to leave the light going north. As I went to merge into the middle lane I noticed him screaming through the gears as he passed my Corvette at about 100 mph in a 50 mph zone. I thought to myself “Lord watch over that guy….and please make him slow down”. A small Honda pulled onto 377, he lifted off the throttle, threw the bike over into the right lane, and then leaned back into the gas. I could hear the Yoshi pipe screaming down the road as I figured he was getting up to somewhere around 120-130. Then I watched as a completely innocent family in a sedan made a left turn across the HWY. That’s when Joe hit them.
Within 10 seconds of passing me that poor boy was gone. I down shifted, accelerated toward the scene, observed what was left of Joe, grabbed a beach towel out of the back of the car, covered his young body, and then ran toward the sedan he struck to support the injured people in the car.
The back passengers were physically ok. The front passenger, an older woman, was pinned under the roof of the car that had been crushed by the motorcycle. She appeared to be banged up, scared, but mostly stable. The driver however was in much worse condition. He was bleeding from his head and neck and was very incoherent. An officer arrived just a second or two after I did. He and I worked to stabilize the driver the best we could. From there, multiple support staff arrived and handled the situation as best they could; using the jaws of life to get the passengers out of the vehicle.
Joe’s motorcycle was annihilated upon impact. The main body of the bike flew about 200 feet past the car while the front tire soared a good 1000 feet or so past the vehicle.
I joined this Ride DFW 2015 page today only to share my experiences with the one audience whom it impacts the most: you guys. I got off street bikes a long time ago mainly due to the risk of other drivers in the Metroplex but, occasionally, I ride a friend’s now and again. I’m not against you guys…whatsoever. I am against foolish behavior that greatly endangers others though. I understand the thrill of speed and a precision machine that excites the soul.
Most importantly though I have respect for my life and the lives of others around me….and I strongly encourage you guys to do the same. Unfortunately Joe did not. And though he may have been a nice and good all-around guy (I have no idea), his lack of respect for his life, and the lives of others around him, cut his time on earth terribly short. These machines are dangerous, we all know that, but it is the combination of our individual judgment, experience, skill, luck, and attention to our surroundings that determines whether we come home from our ride or not. Rest assured, if you ride on the edge day in and day out, and continue to thread the needle every time the machine leaves the drive, you are burning the candle at both end my friends and the borrowed time that you are running on will shortly expire…..just as Joe’s did. I’m terribly sorry for his loss….a bit angry at him, but mostly sorry. I ask that you guys pray for his family, the innocent family he put into the hospital, and that you show some respect for others as well as yourselves while you’re out enjoying your machines. Take care and be careful.
At the time of posting, no funeral details have been announced for Crucie.