Fri, May 24

Racing Through Jerome

A Cottonwood man was in critical condition after his motorcycle collided with a car Sunday afternoon while two bikers were reportedly racing through Jerome at high speed. Kenneth Alexander of Cottonwood was approaching the Jerome town limits headed toward Clarkdale. His bike crossed a double yellow line in the lower gulch to pass a car and crashed into a southbound vehicle near the old gas station. Alexander's bike slid another 30 feet after the point of impact. The Jerome resident who occupied the small Toyota was not injured. He told authorities that when the biker crossed the centerline, he attempted to move the car to the left out of the way, but ran out of room because of the embankment there. Chief Alan Muma believes that had the automobile driver not moved, the motorcyclist would have struck the car head-on and could have been killed. He suffered serious head and body trauma. Verde Valley Ambulance loaded the injured biker and took him to a site near the Number One Food store to load into the helicopter. Alexander was not wearing a helmet and alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash. The road was blocked for a prolonged period of time. A tow truck that was summoned to the scene loaded both the bike and the Toyota but then had problems and dropped the car. Two more tow units had to be called: one for the original load and one for the disabled tow truck. Clarkdale Police intercepted Todd A. Ward, the second motorcyclist. He was charged with driving under the influence, operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol greater than .08 percent improper passing and violation of the noise ordinance.