Elkhart motorcyclist arrested after crash and failed sobriety test

A witness said he saw the motorcyclist racing with another vehicle prior to the crash.

Posted on June 25, 2014 at 9:20 a.m.

A 50-year-old Elkhart man is facing several charges after he crashed a motorcycle while racing on Spring River Drive Tuesday evening, June 24.

Emergency crews were called at about 7 p.m. to Spring River Drive and Chelsielee Court for a one-vehicle crash, according to a news release from the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department.

A witness told police that a driver, later identified as Lawrence W. Barranca of Elkhart, was racing a Yamaha motorcycle with another driver. The vehicles were eastbound when Barranca ran off the road at a curve east of Chelsielee Court. He drove through a yard and went airborne over a driveway. The motorcycle came to a stop after striking a landscaping light and a tree.

Barranca failed a field sobriety test and was taken to Elkhart General Hospital by Concord Township medics. He was treated for a cut to his eyebrow and pain to his chest and abdomen. 

A test performed at the hospital found Barranca had a blood alcohol content of .089 percent. He was treated and released from the hospital and then arrested on a preliminary charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and booked at the Elkhart County Jail.

Barranca and the second driver are being investigated for reckless driving and speed contest and charges are pending prosecutor’s review. The identity of the second driver and details about that vehicle have not been released. 

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