Florida Keys News
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
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Biker crash stops traffic
Colo. motorcyclist,45, dies after airlift

A Colorado motorcyclist was killed on the Seven Mile Bridge Tuesday morning while trying to overtake slower-moving traffic that included a law enforcement vehicle, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Chris Leaf, 45, of Kersey, Colo., was taken to Fishermen's Hospital in Marathon at 10:15 a.m. before being airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, where he was pronounced dead at 12:25 p.m., said Lt. Kathy McKinney.

He was not wearing a helmet, McKinney added.

Leaf was riding north on a 2011 Harley-Davidson with a group of motorcyclists and following another rider, Jim Luckeroth, 56, of Greeley, Colo., into the southbound lane to overtake traffic, according to a Highway Patrol press release.

"[Luckeroth] saw there was a police vehicle, decided to slow down and pull behind the police vehicle," the report states. But Leaf could not stop in time and his motorcycle hit the rear wheel of Luckeroth's 2008 Harley-Davidson, causing him to lose control and fall.

"Technically, this is a two-vehicle crash, but for all intents and purposes, we're only talking about one motorcycle crashing," McKinney said.

Drugs and alcohol were not believed to be a factor, according to the release.

The crash closed both lanes of traffic for about 20 minutes before one lane was reopened for alternating traffic, McKinney said. alinhardt@keysnews.com

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