ECHO, Summit County — A helmet prevented a motorcyclist from suffering serious injuries after he slid on a freeway and hit his head on a cable barrier Sunday afternoon, police said.

Four motorcycles were heading west on I-80 near Echo at 1:11 p.m. when one of the riders experienced some trouble, according to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Lawrence Hopper.

"One of the riders … was riding pretty tired," Hopper said. "As he approached a curve, he failed to turn with the road, and he laid the bike down and he suffered some pretty minor injuries."

Darrell Kuntz, 27, of California, slid into a grass median and hit his head on a cable road barrier, Hopper said. Officers closed down the west side of the freeway for a medical helicopter to land. Kunz's injuries were minor enough that he was instead taken by ambulance to Park City Medical Center to be treated for road rash and minor injuries to his neck and back.

Hopper said Kunz is fortunate to have escaped with minor injuries.

"He was wearing his helmet," the trooper said. "We know that had he not been wearing his helmet his injuries would have been far worse than they are now. You can't stress enough the importance of wearing your helmet when you're on a bike."

— Whitney Evans