SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As the weather warms up, drivers are being asked to be aware of motorcycle riders. Crashes can happen in a blink of an eye if you’re not paying attention.
Nobody knows that better than our own Don Jorgensen and his wife, Pam who were involved in a crash about a year ago.
They’re doing much better, not 100% but both are walking again.
Two years ago over 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in the U.S. and more than 84,000 were injured.
A Sioux Falls woman who was hit by a semi nearly nine years ago and lost her left leg.
“I seen the semi tried to turn in front of me and I tried to swerve to the right and that’s the last thing I remember,” Siems said.
Alfreda Siems was hit by a semi on the outskirts of Sioux Falls in 2013.
The semi damaged her bike, but the news got much worse when she was in the hospital.
“I remember I was kind of fading in and out, but I do remember them telling me I was going to lose my leg,” Siems said.
Today she walks a little slower with the help of her prosthetic leg.
Siems has kept a positive attitude and has taken what happened to her in stride.
“I tried not to go through a depression, I had like two and a half weeks in the hospital to accept this, which I did, I accepted it, it’s not like my leg is ever going to grow back again, so I just had to accept it,” Siems said.
Don rode with Dave Brende with Those Guys Abate and talked to him about motorcycle safety awareness.
“We know we are a little harder to see and the problem is this time of year people aren’t used to us being out on the road,” Brende said.
But as a life long biker, he also knows we bikers bear some responsibility, too.
“You just can’t take for granted you are being seen, if you see a car at an intersection you got to think twice if that car actually sees you,” Brende said.
Brende brought along this sign because May is National Motorcycle Awareness month.
“You’ll be seeing these signs posted around the state of South Dakota just another way to alert drivers to watch out for bikes,” Brende said.
Despite losing her leg Siems still rides with her husband, because she says life is too short, do what you love.
“Life really hasn’t been that bad to be honest with you, I’m just thankful for every day I wake up and I’m still here,” Siems said.
For more tips on motorcycle safety for drivers and riders, click here to link you to the National Motorcycle Safety Foundation with this story on our website.