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Photos courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety
Fallen motorcycles from an earlier motorcycle collision that left one man dead and another hospitalized.

NORTH SALT LAKE — One motorcyclist is dead and another seriously injured after their bikes collided on I-15 Wednesday afternoon.

Around 2:20 p.m., two men on Yamaha motorcycles were traveling south together in the left lane when the lead motorcyclist, Matthew L. Nichol, 36, from Cottonwood Heights, went down, according to Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Ed Michaud.

The second motorcyclist, Mark Ross, 52, from Washington state, apparently drove over Nichol. He was unable to stop in time, and traffic prevented him from veering into the next lane, police said.

After the impact, the motorcycles appeared to have travelled about 200 feet. They were travelling at freeway speeds upon impact.

Nichol was pronounced dead at the scene from his injuries, and Ross was taken by ambulance to a local hospital in critical condition with a broken ankle, road rash and head injuries.

Neither rider was wearing a helmet. Nichol had a helmet attached to his bike.

"Had helmets been worn, the injuries would not likely have been nearly as serious," Michaud said.

Police are still investigating the accident, he said, but it does not appear that alcohol and drugs played a role. Both bikes were in good condition and did not have any apparent defects.

As the holiday weekend approaches, officers caution those traveling to use good judgment when they're on the road.

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"Certainly wear safety equipment. We certainly advocate helmets on the part of motorcyclists. Watch your speed. Keep your speeds within the speed limits," Michaud said. "Always wear your seat belt if you're in a vehicle, and definitely do not drink and drive."

All southbound lanes of I-15 in south Davis County were shut down after the accident to accommodate an AirMed helicopter. Vehicles headed south at Beck Street were diverted to I-215 until the helicopter lifted. At that point, police reopened one lane and the Beck Street off-ramp.

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