Sunday, July 03, 2011

The Associated Press: NY motorcyclist in helmet protest hits head, dies

NY motorcyclist in helmet protest hits head, dies
(AP)–14 hours ago

ONONDAGA, N.Y. (AP) — A man riding bareheaded on one of about 550 motorcycles in an anti-helmet law rally lost control of his cycle, went over his handlebars, hit his head on the pavement and died, police said Sunday.
The motorcyclist, 55-year-old Philip A. Contos, likely would have survived the accident if he'd been wearing a helmet, state troopers said.
The accident happened Saturday afternoon in Onondaga, a town in central New York near Syracuse.
Contos was driving a 1983 Harley-Davidson on a helmet protest ride organized by the Onondaga chapter of American Bikers Aimed Towards Education, or ABATE, troopers said. The organization states that it encourages the voluntary use of helmets but opposes mandatory helmet laws.
Contos, of Parish, hit his brakes, and his motorcycle fishtailed and went out of control, flipping him over the handlebars, police said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The statewide president of ABATE, Thomas Alton, said Contos wasn't a member of ABATE but was a motorcyclist with 30 years of experience.
"He was one of the public who wanted to join in support of helmet freedom," Alton said.

The Associated Press: NY motorcyclist in helmet protest hits head, dies

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