PINELLAS PARK — Authorities were investigating two motorcycle crashes that injured five people — four of them seriously — Wednesday night.
The crashes occurred within the same general area — the first on 49th Street and the second on U.S. 19.
The first crash occurred about 9 p.m. in the 12100 block of 49th Street N, according to Pinellas Park police.
Police said three motorcyclists were traveling north when one of them crashed into the back of a car, then slammed into a pole. Police said the motorcyclists — all adult men — were traveling at a high speed and that witnesses reported one of them was doing a wheelie before the crash.
The driver of the car, a 17-year-old girl, had made a U-turn to go north on 49th Street just before the impact, police said.
The other two motorcycles were laid down by their drivers. All three motorcyclists were taken to Bayfront Medical Center as trauma alert patients, police said. The 17-year-old girl also was taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
Northbound 49th Street was closed between 118th Avenue and Ulmerton Road as police investigated.
About an hour after that crash, Florida Highway Patrol troopers were investigating a minor car wreck in the 12500 block of U.S. 19. As a group of motorcyclists drove by, one bike struck the rear of another. The rider of the motorcycle in the rear, an adult male, fell off his bike and was run over by a third motorcycle, police said.
The man was taken by helicopter to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said. All northbound lanes of U.S. 19 in that area were closed as troopers investigated.
Police did not release the names of the people involved in either accident late Wednesday night.