Lockport motorcyclist dies, girlfriend injured in crash near Channahon

Tribune reporter

A Lockport motorcyclist was killed one day before his 25th birthday and his girlfriend injured during a motorcycle crash Sunday afternoon in southwest suburban Channahon Township in Will County, authorities said.

Karl D. Hodges, 24, was driving a motorcycle that crashed on westbound Front Street about a half mile off Frontage Road in Channahon Township, according to the Will County Coroner's office.

The wreck happened at 4:30 p.m., according to Will County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kathy Hoffmeyer.

Hodges and his 18-year-old girlfriend, who was riding on the back of the cycle, had just left nearby Mugzy's Hideout tavern, where they had been with Hodges' brother and other friends, and were traveling at a high rate of speed when Hodges lost control of the motorcycle,  Hoffmeyer said.

"There was a curve in the road and the motorcycle hit the gravel on the side of the road,"’ Hoffmeyer said. "They lost control and both flew through the air."

Two fishermen witnessed the wreck and estimated the 1981 Suzuki GS 1100, which belonged to the victim's brother, was traveling between 80 and 100 miles per hour, said Hoffmeyer.

Hodges was pronounced dead at 7:33 p.m. Sunday at Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, according to the coroner's office. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

His girlfriend suffered possible internal injuries and was also taken to Provena Saint Joseph. but she is expected to survive, said Hoffmeyer.

Hoffmeyer said a subsequent accident happened when Hodges' 26-year-old brother, who was behind the wheel of a Pontiac G6 following two cars behind him, "saw a big cloud of dust," sped up and pulled in front of a Mitsubishi Galant behind the bike, and was rear-ended by the Galant, which contained three teen boys, ages 16, 15, and 12.  No one else was hurt.

Karl Hodges would have turned 25 today, said Hoffmeyer.

It was not listed on a crash report if the couple were wearing helmets.

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