Local News

Motorcyclist injured in 2 vehicle crash, police say

SEBRING - A 70-year-old motorcyclist was airlifted to Lakeland Regional Medical Center Sunday after colliding with a pickup truck making a U-turn, according to a Sebring Police Department report.

The accident was reported at 1:41 p.m. and occurred on Alternate U.S. 27, which is the short connector between U.S. 27 and Lakeview Drive, south of the Southgate Shopping Center.

Jonathan Alan Hollenberg, 18, of Sebring, was driving a 2005 Ford F-250 pickup south on Alternate U.S. 27 just west of the intersection of Lakeview Drive, and drove onto the right shoulder to make a U-turn to go north, the report states.

William A. Binkley, 70, of Sebring was riding a 2001 Harley Davidson motorcycle south on Alternate U.S. 27 when Hollenberg made the U-turn in front of him, the report shows.

Hollenberg said he looked in his side mirror and did not see any traffic coming when he started to turn, the report states.

Binkley tried to avoid a collision by swerving into the northbound lane, but struck the middle of the left driver's and passenger doors, according to the report.

Witnesses said it looked as if the motorcycle driver struck his head on the side of the truck before he and his passenger fell into the grass, just a few feet away.

Neither Binkley, nor his passenger, Margaret A Rodriguez, 55, of Sebring, were wearing helmets, the report states.

Binkley was taken to Highlands Regional Medical Center and then flown by Aeromed to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, the report stated. Binkley appeared to have a head injury, an injury to his right wrist and was disoriented.

There were no other reported injuries, according to the report. There was about $9,000 damage to the motorcycle and $4,000 in estimated damage to the pickup.

Due to the extent of Binkley's injuries, a traffic homicide investigation was conducted. No citations have been issued pending the completion of the investigation.