Over the holiday weekend, a New York motorcyclist killed in an crash while participating in the 11th annual ride protesting the New York law that requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets.
Phillip Contos, a New York truck driver and former US soldier, was taking part in the Independance Ride, an annual protest ride sponsored by the Syracuse, New York chapter of ABATE, American Bikers Aimed Toward Education. The group is not necessarily opposed to helmets; they protest instead laws that make their use mandatory.
The collision occurred after the 55-year-old Contos hit his brakes. His Harley-Davidson fishtailed out of control and hit a guardrail, sending Contos over the handlebars to land on his head. Medical experts have suggested that his life would have been saved had he been wearing helmet.
By the afternoon following the crash, Phillip Contos’s older brother Richard was already sick of getting calls from reporters, pointing out the irony of the death. Calling his brother “a rebel,” he told reporters that if his brother had it to do all over again, he’d probably still ride without a helmet.