Friday, June 4, 2010 | 1:28 p.m.
Two motorcyclists were injured, one critically, in a crash this morning after a vehicle apparently cut one of them off while changing lanes, police said.
North Las Vegas Police spokesman Tim Bedwell said the incident occurred about 7 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of Craig Road west of Interstate 15.
Authorities said a 55-year-old Las Vegas man was eastbound in a 1999 Plymouth Voyager while struggling to make a lane change.
A 49-year-old North Las Vegas man was eastbound on his 2007 Harley-Davidson FLHR motorcycle behind the van in the lane where the Plymouth driver wanted to be. During the van driver’s attempts to change lanes, police say the Harley operator was cut off and he lost control of the motorcycle.
The man on the Harley slid into another traffic lane, occupied by a 21-year-old North Las Vegas man riding a 2002 Honda CBR 954 RR motorcycle, authorities said. The Honda rider avoided the Harley rider, but hit the median and crashed, investigators said.
Police said both riders and motorcycles slid before coming to rest. The van didn't make contact with either motorcycle. No other vehicles hit the riders, police said.
Authorities said the van driver continued driving but police stopped him. He said he didn't know the motorcycles crashed.
The Harley-Davidson's operator was wearing a "novelty" helmet, Bedwell said. He was taken to UMC in critical condition and was undergoing surgery for head injuries, police said.
Bedwell said the rider’s injuries could have been reduced with the use of an approved helmet.
The Honda rider was wearing an approved full-face helmet. He suffered road rash and extremity injuries, Bedwell said. He walked away from the crash and was transported to UMC for minor injuries.
North Las Vegas has had four traffic fatalities this year. All of the fatalities have been motorcycle riders.
Drugs and alcohol don't appear to be factors in the crash, police said. Police on Friday weren't releasing the names of anyone involved in the incident.