Thursday, April 15, 2010


Motorcyclists use Slayton Settlement Road as a drag strip because of its long straight sections and, especially overnight, its light amount of traffic.

It may be fun for them, but not for me. I worry about their safety. I get sick to my stomach when bikes rocket by my house at speeds well in excess of 100 mph. One stone, one trail of mud left by a tractor can throw-off a bike's balance and cause an accident. And, quite often I will see fellows popping wheelies while traveling well above the speed limit. Dangerous.

Because of those factors, for years I've been telling people that sooner or later a motorcyclist will die on my road.

Well, sadly, that happened overnight.

A 39-year old Gasport man, John Watson, died in a motorcycle accident last night near the intersection of Slayton Settlement and Day Roads. A passing motorist reported the 1-vehicle accident around 12:40 AM. The investigation -- which was still ongoing when I drove by four hours later -- found that he was traveling eastward, failed to negotiate a curve and struck a guard rail, subsequently being thrown from his motorcycle.

Unfortunately, this is the third year in a row that there has been a motorcycle fatality in the immediate area. In May of 2008 Michelle McQueen, a well-liked member of the Gasport Fire Department, died in crash on Route 104 near Hess Road. In July of last year Brian Hill died when he hit a car head-on while driving on Ridge Road near Checkered Tavern.