Motorcycle crash knocks out power, rider lands in blackberry bramble

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A motorcyclist traveling 80-90 mph on Northeast Minnehaha Street hit an electrical guide wire off the road, causing outages east of the power pole Friday night. The rider was not seriously injured.

Charles A. Gretsch, 25, was riding his Honda CBR 600 east around the 2500 block of Minnehaha at 8:40 p.m. when he passed an off-duty firefighter on the left in a no-passing zone, according to Clark County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Randon Walker. He lost control of his motorcycle in the oncoming lane of traffic and hit a guidewire on the south side of the road. The wire snapped and hit a power line, which caused outages east of the accident on both sides of the road, Walker said.

The motorcycle flew back into traffic, Gretsch flipping off it into the air and landing in an 8-foot-tall blackberry patch, according to the firefighter on scene.

The firefighter, who had emergency gear in his vehicle, pulled over, calmed Gretsch down and used bolt-cutters to cut away the blackberry vines so medical crews could get to him.

Fire District 6 and an ambulance arrived on scene. Gretsch complained of pain in his right arm and chest, but had no serious injuries, Walker said. He was transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

The Clark County Sheriff's Office is investigating this incident for suspected reckless driving, unsafe passing and driving without a motorcycle endorsement.