2 killed in Falls after motorcycle hits rail

Bike accidents claim 14 lives since April

News Staff Reporters
NIAGARA FALLS - Two people were killed Thursday when their motorcycle hit a guardrail on the LaSalle Expressway, adding to the recent deadly toll from similar accidents on Buffalo Niagara roadways.

With the latest crash, at least 14 people have died in motorcycle crashes - and several more been seriously injured - since mid-April.

Thursday's accident happened at about 12:30 p.m. on the eastbound expressway, near the Buffalo Avenue on-ramp. State Police said the motorcycle, operated by Randolph Osvath, 38, of Grand Island, hit the center steel guardrail, ejecting Osvath and his passenger, Michele Newton, 43, of Blasdell.

Newton was pronounced dead at the scene by Niagara County Coroner James Joyce, while Osvath was taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Sgt. Daniel Dedo said that although the motorcycle was new - a 2005 model, Osvath did have some experience riding. Police are listing the probable cause of the accident as unsafe speed.

Those killed in local motorcycle accidents during the past six months range in age from 19 to the mid-50s. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, older riders are accounting for the fatalities; currently, the age of the typical rider is 38, up from 24 in 1980.

And of the 14 deaths, half resulted from accidents involving only the motorcycle; the other half involved other vehicles.

Members of the State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit are continuing the investigation of Thursday's accident. They ask that any witnesses contact Investigator John DiPasquale at 297-8831.