One dead, one critical following collision with turkey


A collision with a turkey left one motorcyclist dead and another in critical condition Friday, Sept. 25.

The pair, a husband and wife from Australind, Australia, were taking part in the Black Dog Ride charity ride across America at the time of the incident, which occurred on Yellowjacket Pass, near mile marker 117.

In the incident — which a Colorado State Patrol (CSP) incident report lists as occurring at approximately 5:18 p.m. on Sept. 25 — Stephen J. Thomas, 58, and Barbara H. Thomas, 56, were westbound on U.S. 160 on a 2016 Harley Davidson Street Glide when a turkey flew up from the side of the road and hit the driver, possibly in the head area.

At that point the driver, Stephen Thomas, lost control and went off of the left side of the road and down an embankment, where the motorcycle hit a small grove of trees, the incident report states.

Both the driver and rider were ejected, but the motorcycle continued westbound and hit another tree, at which point it came to rest.

The rider, Barbara Thomas, was pronounced dead at the scene by Archuleta County Coroner Dan Keuning, and Stephen Thomas was transported to Mercy Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, the report indicates.

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