Aid and law enforcement responded to a report of a motorcyclist who had crashed into a tree on Monument Drive about 3:30pm today. Monument Drive runs south from Thornton Road just west of Horizon Middle School and goes through The Meadows housing development where several homes are under construction.
Little information was officially available as of 5:30pm. Whatcom County Fire District 7 Division Chief Dean Crosswhite said aid units from the Church Road station responded including one with a medic onboard. Upon arriving, advanced life support interventions were begun.
The 18-year-old rider did not survive his injuries said Crosswhite.
The red and black motorcycle sat half-submerged in a pond near the sidewalk with its riding lights still glowing as people could be seen gathering in the area about 4:45pm while investigators continued to work.
The young man was identified by Washington State Patrol as Petr Shulga, a senior at Ferndale High School.
According to WSP Trooper Travis Shearer, Shulga was riding a motorcycle for the first time and had only been on it, a 2007 Honda CBR 600, for 30 minutes at the time of the crash. Shulga failed to negotiate a turn, struck the curb, drove over the sidewalk, went past a large tree trunk and impacted a pole.
Shearer said investigators were concerned Shulga’s helmet was either improperly fitted or unbuckled at the time of the crash.
The crash occurred near Shulga’s home and family members were at the scene.
According to FHS Principal Jeff Gardner, school will be held tomorrow as usual but counselors and district support staff will be available to anyone in need. “We will take care of each other in this difficult time,” Gardner said.