Motorcyclist killed in Fairfield crash was Butler County’s 6th such death this year

A fatal motorcycle crash in Fairfield on Sunday claimed the sixth life in such an incident this year in Butler County.

Michael J. Botkins, 64, was killed in the incident that happened in the area of South Gilmore and Resor roads. He was transported to a local hospital, where he died.

There have been more than 600 motorcycle-involved fatal accidents since 2016 in Ohio, and nearly 20 of them were on Butler County roads, according to State Highway Patrol data.

Motorcycle-involved fatal crashes have been on the decline statewide since 2016, but the number has remained steady in Butler County, according to the state safety data.

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“Sometimes you don’t really know (why crashes increase or decrease),” said Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeffrey Staples. “You try to concentrate your efforts towards education and safety, but other factors go into that also.”

Factors involved in motorcycle-involved accidents include the rider’s experience, speed and distractions, Staples said. The use of a helmet can affect the seriousness, Staples said.

Botkins was not wearing a helmet during Sunday’s motorcycle-involved fatal accident, according to Fairfield police.

Botkins was traveling south on South Gilmore on a 1997 Harley-Davidson motorcycle when the driver of a 2017 Toyota Highlander SUV was turning left on Resor Road after traveling north on South Gilmore Road, according to police. That’s when the two vehicles collided, police said.

The crash is still being investigating, and police have not released the name of the other driver or indicated if any charges will be filed.

Police said motorists were performing CPR on Botkins when emergency crews arrived, and he continued to receive CPR as he was transported to the hospital, according to police scanner traffic. Botkins was transported to the Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital but died as a result of his injuries, according to the police and coroner’s office.

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The driver of the SUV was transported by family members to Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital for minor injuries, according to police.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Motorcycle Ohio unit launched the Ride SMART campaign to promote motorcycle safety along with other entities in 2018.

“The main thing is to pay attention to your surroundings, and expect the unexpected,” Staples said.


The number of motorcycle-involved fatal accidents have been on the decline statewide since 2016, but the number of fatal accidents in Butler County has remained steady.

2016: There were 200 motorcycle-involved fatal accidents in Ohio, five of which were in Butler County.

2017: There were 157 motorcycle-involved fatal accidents in Ohio, three of which were in Butler County.

2018: There were 144 motorcycle-involved fatal accidents in Ohio, five of which were in Butler County.

2019: This year's data is still unofficial, but there have been more than 120 reported motorcycle-involved fatal accidents in Ohio as of Sept. 23, six of which were in Butler County.

Source: Ohio State Highway Patrol

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