ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A 79-year-old man died after losing control on a curve and crashing his newly modified three-wheeled motorcycle in Oakland County, police said.
John Lewis Blackwell, 79, of Pontiac, had just had his 2011 Harley-Davidson motorcycle modified on Monday (May 9) to add a third wheel, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
After he picked up the motorcycle, he was driving south on Baldwin Road, west of Clarkston Road, in Orion Township and lost control on a curve, deputies said.
Blackwell struck a curb and was ejected from the motorcycle, according to police. He landed in a ditch on the west side of the road, authorities said.
“Oakland County Sheriff’s Office crash investigators believe Blackwell’s unfamiliarity with operating the modified vehicle led to the accident,” a release says.
Blackwell was taken to a nearby hospital by Orion Township firefighters, but he died from his injuries, according to officials.
He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, they said. Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor.