At around 10:45 a.m. today a motorcyclist was severely injured from a collision with a vehicle at the intersection of North Second Street and Wyoming Avenue, officials said.
Rivera Walters, 24, was driving west on Wyoming Avenue when his bike collided with a vehicle being driven by a young Hispanic woman. The driver of the vehicle said she was performing a U-turn when the motorcycle struck her vehicle.
As a result of the collision the motorcycle ignited into flames.Witnesses said Rivera suffered burns mostly from his knees to his ankles.
Tanisha Skinner said she witnessed the entire accident as well as the aftermath of the collision.
“She was doing an illegal U-turn when he came up over the hill. He tried to swerve out of the way but there was nothing he could do so he hit her,” Skinner said. “He was on one knee screaming in pain because his legs were on fire and when he kept trying to get up he would just fall back down and his whole arm was all scraped up.
“He seemed alert but he was just screaming,” Skinner added.
She said that while Rivera laid screaming on the street a man she described as a SEPTA employee removed his shirt and wrapped it around Rivera’s legs then proceeded to drag him away from the burning motorcycle.
Skinner described the fire that trailed the pavement as Rivera was dragged away from the motorcycle. “He risked his own life trying to help that man,” Skinner said. SEPTA has not yet confirmed that the man involved was an employee.
An ambulance arrived moments after the collision to take Rivera to Temple Hospital, where he is now in critical condition, officials said.
The driver of the vehicle that Rivera’s motorcycle had collided with was still at the scene a half hour later as police investigated the accident. She looked upset with her hand on her face and her eyes on the burnt motorcycle wreckage.
The wreckage of the bike lay in the center of the intersection while ash, moist from the extinguishers, surrounded the bike. A pile of some burnt remains of Rivera’s clothes was set aside by police, including a sneaker with burn marks along the ankle portion of the sneaker.
“I just hope he is going to be okay. My mother is a nurse and she said it was bad enough that he could lose his legs,” Skinner said.
Police closed off Wyoming Avenue from Third Street to North Plethora Street until the scene was cleared.