Bikers airlifted to hospital during Motorcycle festival

First published in News by , Crime reporter

Around 50,000 bikers gathered for Britain’s biggest free motorcycle festival yesterday – but two serious crashes led to three people being airlifted to hospital while the event took place.

Within 50 minutes of the event starting, part of the A259 between Hastings and Bexhill was closed for a number of hours after a biker believed to taking part in the Hastings May Day Run crashed into a tree at 9.50am.

He was airlifted to King’s College Hospital in London with serious injuries.

At around 3.15pm, two other motorcyclists were also airlifted to hospital after a “serious” collision also on the A259 at Pevensey.

Full details of both incidents were not available at the time The Argus went to press, but a police spokesman last night said he expected the road to be closed for some time following the second crash.

The spokesman could not confirm whether or not the two motorcyclists involved in accident at Pevensey were taking part in the event.

At least six other riders were also reported for speeding, one man was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and two bikes were seized by police for causing “alarm, distress or annoyance” at the festival yesterday.

In a separate incident on the nearby A21 a man was arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

On their Facebook page Roads Police East Sussex warned riders they would be out in force on unmarked bikes.

One officer, writing on the page, said: “The use of unmarked vehicles is as a deterrent to those who choose to endanger others by riding or driving antisocially and dangerously.”

Commenting on the driver arrested on suspicion of drink driving, Roads Police East Sussex said on Twitter: “Colleague has arrested drink driver in a Jaguar on A21. Think of the carnage he could have caused amongst all those bikes.”

Clinical operations manager for South East Coast Ambulance Nigel Hammond said on Twitter yesterday evening about the motorcycle festival: “Sad to report @SECAmbulance and @SJASouthEast now dealing with lots of alcohol related calls.”

He added SECAmb had dealt with “20-25 minor injuries/conditions” at the event.

An organiser from the Hastings May Day Run told The Argus around 50,000 bikers had turned up for the event.

The spokesman said: “Events like this are enjoyed by tens of thousands of people and we estimate it brings £1.8m to the local economy such as through petrol.”

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