Aurora motorcyclist dies on I-88, Friends Blame Police

Story Image

Nick Linton, killed in motorcycle accident in Aurora, 2011.

 An Aurora resident was killed while riding his motorcycle with friends Friday night on Interstate 88 near the Winfield Road exit.

Nicholas Linton, 29, of Aurora, was headed to Chicago accompanied by two friends on their own motorcycles around 9:15 p.m. Friday.

And that’s where details of the story begin to diverge.

Master Sgt. S. LeGrand of the Illinois State Police said that the accident is still under investigation, but according to the report already filed, two motorcycles were involved.

“One swerved in front of the other, causing the second to take evasive actions,” said LeGrand.

But Linton’s friends and fellow motorcyclists, including one who was at the scene, said that the state trooper who was driving ahead of the bikers was involved in causing the accident.

“Basically, they got cut off by the police,” said Oscar Flores, who was riding his own bike about 150 feet behind Linton and the third motorcyclist. “They slammed on the brakes right in front of my two friends.”

Linton tried to swerve, but failed, and was launched from his bike. His friends then believe he was hit by a passing truck. The third motorcyclist was able to pull off to the shoulder of the road.

Friends also said that the State Police patrol car did not have its lights or siren on as it approached Linton and his fellow motorcyclists on I-88.

Flores said he did not know the car was a State Police vehicle until he passed.

“He came up from behind,” Flores said. “I didn’t know it was a cop or anything. I moved over to let the car pass and that’s when I noticed it was a police car.”

Under investigation

According to State Police, the accident is under investigation, and no more information could be released until at least Tuesday. LeGrand said it was still unknown whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident.

Linton’s friends said he had not been drinking and that he was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Friends who arrived at the scene shortly after the accident said they received no information from State Police when they asked which hospital Linton has been taken to, so they could tell his wife, Erica, who was en route. When she arrived, it became apparent Linton was still on the pavement, where he remained until 1:30 a.m.

“His wife started running toward him and they literally tackled her,” said Noelia Morales, secretary of RPM Riders United, the motorcycle club to which Linton belonged. “She has scrapes on her legs. You would have thought it was a football scene.”

NAACP called in

Family, friends, and club members have since approached the Chicago far south side branch of the NAACP for help in pursuing a full investigation of what happened Friday night.

“A friend of Nick called us and asked us if we would get involved with the accident. The way it happened it was the state trooper’s fault,” said David L. Lowery Jr., president of the NAACP chapter. “It is so tragic what happened it is unbelievable.

“It’s unusual that a state trooper would get in front of a bike to stop it, rather than behind it. The NAACP wants to make sure that justice is done, that it was truly an accident and not something a state trooper caused out of protocol.”

The RPM in RPM Riders United Motorcycle Club stands for Ryan’s Passion for Motorcycles. The group was named for another rider, Ryan Heiman, who died in a crash 11 years ago, to the day, of the crash that killed Linton. The organization participates in charity rides, including Toys for Tots, and an Easter basket ride for Hesed House in Aurora. They’ll be holding a memorial at the site of the crash once it’s been fully cleared.

“Some of the riders went and put bandanas up at the mile marker,” said Morales. “It’s really hard for everyone.”

Visitation for Linton will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Daleiden Mortuary, 220 N. Lake St. in Aurora. Services will follow at 5 p.m. Interment will be private.

Tags: , , ,
Previous Post

Fight Beaks Out at Rye Playland Over Muslim Headscarves

Next Post

San Diego Police Shootout Caught on Tape

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *