LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Brian Pedigo, 47, of Lafayette was heading South on his moped on North Ninth Street around 10 o'clock Wednesday night when police said 24-year-old Martin Jura of Delphi was heading North.
Deputies said Jura was driving a truck, tried passing another car and didn't see Pedigo on his moped headed right toward him. Jura sideswiped the moped, critically injuring Pedigo.
There have been several crashes involving mopeds in Tippecanoe County and Lafayette this summer.
"I think one of the biggest issues is that mopeds are hard to see, especially at night," Lafayette Police Technician Matt Devine said.
Devine said lights on a moped are crucial and when they are out it can be dangerous.
"For instance I was working traffic project and I stopped a moped at night that didn't have a headlight," Devine said. "It had been involved in a crash and it didn't have a headlight at all, so that vehicle was stopped."
Legally, mopeds cannot go as fast as other traffic. This is something that sets them apart from motorcycles and can catch drivers off guard when approaching a moped.
"They can not go over 25 miles an hour. Even if they're not speeding, but they're going over 25 miles an hour that's a violation of the moped statute," Devine said.
Moped operators only need to be 15-years-old and hold a valid state issued ID. Drivers 18 and under are required to wear a helmet and protective eyewear.
Whether a driver or a passenger, Devine said if you break the law you'll get a ticket.
"Depending on the age of a child, the child could be seated or the parent could also be held responsible for not making sure the child has got the helmet on," Devine said.
For other drivers, Devine said avoid distraction when driving so you can focus on the road. For moped drivers, always wear a helmet.
In Wednesday night's crash, Sheriff Tracy Brown said the driver of the truck did not have drugs or alcohol in his system. The moped driver, Pedigo, did test positive for alcohol.
Pedigo is being treated at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
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