GREENLEAF TWP. – A 21-year-old Bad Axe motorcyclist received serious injuries Friday afternoon – several minutes after leaving work with a bonus check – when his motorcycle collided with a car on M-53 in Sanilac County.
Brandon Hazard, the motorcyclist, was transported by helicopter to an area hospital following the crash about 2:15 p.m. at M-53 and Bay City-Forestville Road, according to Hazard’s co-workers at Legendary Fabrication & Welding L.L.C.
“He just got his anniversary check for three years of employment with us,” said Gina Ridley, co-owner of the company at 8260 VanDyke Road (M-53), one-half mile south of the crash scene.
“It’s a bonus check – worth an extra 60 hours of pay,” added Mark Neveau, also a co-owner of the company, and Ridley’s fiancé.
Ridley said Hazard left work for the day and drove north on M-53, followed by another co-worker who saw the motorcycle crash with a Chevrolet car traveling west on Bay City-Forestville Road.
Traffic on M-53 has the right of way, and westbound or eastbound traffic on Bay City-Forestville Road must stop at stop signs at M-53.
Farmer’s Co-Op Grain Co. is on the southeast corner of that intersection, with Country Corner Café on the northeast corner.
The identity of the driver of the Chevrolet wasn’t known as of press time, and a Michigan State Police officer declined comment at the crash scene.
The motorcycle broke into dozens of smaller parts due to the crash.
“It’s pretty bad when they’re sweeping motorcycle parts up into a pile,” Neveau said.
Ridley, however, said she spoke with Hazard after the crash as he waited for transport to a hospital. The helicopter arrived at 3:12 p.m. at the intersection, landing on M-53 just north of Bay City-Forestville Road.
“He was alert and talking,” Ridley said. “I was keeping him awake, talking to him. This could have went a whole different way, though.”
Neveau said Hazard received serious injuries to one leg. There was damage to the front left portion of the car.
Neveau said Hazard wore a full helmet, one approved by the Department of Transportation.
“That thing saved his life – there’s no doubt in my mind,” said Ridley, who, like Neveau, lives in Huron County’s Verona Township.
Elmwood Township/Gagetown Fire Department personnel blocked off northbound traffic on M-53 at Ritter Road. Authorities blocked southbound M-53 traffic at Huron Line Road.
Hazard, a father of a young son and a welder at Legendary Fabrication & Welding L.L.C., is “one of the best employees you could get,” Ridley said.
Neveau said Hazard has been a key part of the company’s growth.
“That’s why there’s 10 of us working there now; three years ago there were just two of us,” Neveau said. “Brandon was our first employee. We moved out of Bad Axe into this building, just recently.”