Preliminary findings of a Key West police traffic homicide investigation indicate a 20-year-old Key West man killed when he lost control of his motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed, said Investigator Kevin O’Connell. The crash occurred at 11:07 p.m. Wednesday on Northside Drive, behind the Searstown shopping center.
Investigators have not yet determined why Eugenio Rivera, Jr., of Key West, lost control or how fast he was going, O’Connell said. He said witnesses heard him downshift the 2004 Honda 600, which may mean he was trying to regain control of the bike while possibly going into high speed wobble.
The motorcycle hit a parked truck, totaling it, O’Connell said. Rivera was thrown across the road and the motorcycle came apart as it skidded about 260 feet, hitting the curb across the street, he said. The forks and hub came off completely and “motorcycle parts were fanned out” on the street, O’Connell said. Investigators have not yet determined if alcohol was involved.
Rivera was pronounced dead at Lower Keys Medical Center at 11:30 p.m.
He was not wearing a helmet, O’Connell said, and hospital personnel told him Rivera died instantly of a broken neck. An autopsy has been scheduled, O’Connell said, and the investigation is ongoing.
Rivera was a 2003 graduate of Key West High School.