VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A head-on crash involving three motorcycles killed two people and seriously injured a third in Volusia County Friday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Anthony Petro, 52 of Orlando, was operating a motorcycle north on Tomoka Farms Road when he drifted into the southbound lane near U.S. 92, hitting a motorcycle ridden by 61-year-old Ronald Ackley head-on.
Ackley, who is from Eustis, and Petro died at the scene of the crash, troopers said.
Susan Cox, who was following Ackley on another motorcycle, was unable to avoid the crash and collided with Ackley’s motorcycle.
Cox, who is from Eustis, was taken to Halifax Medical Center with serious injuries, troopers said.
All three were not wearing helmets, according to the crash report.
Troopers said the crash remains under investigation.
Thousands of motorcyclists are expected to travel to downtown Daytona Beach this weekend for the 25th annual Biketoberfest.
Business owners are hopeful that more people make the pilgrimage this year.
About 100,000 people typically attend the gathering, but attendance figures dipped to 40,000 last year because the festival was held one week after Hurricane Matthew tore through Central Florida.
The event began Thursday and will run through Sunday.
Daniel Myara, who owns Cruisin' Cafe, said the annual festival has grown significantly over the last 20 years.
"It's getting bigger and bigger," Myara said. "The more events, the better. I think we should have more events."
The Daytona Beach Police Department said it's partnering with the Florida Highway Patrol to police festival areas along Main Street, North Beach Street, Dr. May McLeod Bethune Boulevard and West International Speedway Boulevard.
Deputies from Volusia, Flagler and Seminole counties will also patrol Biketoberfest festivities to keep bikers safe and roadways clear.
Resident Jackie Johnston said she's confident this year's event will be as safe as those held in previous years.
"Everyone needs to do their share and do their part to be safe," Johnston said. "And to be just a part of a fun time."
Increased security is on everyone's mind.
"It is high presence of the police, which is needed because of the sheer amount of people that are going to be in one little area in particular areas throughout the city," biker Chris Waddell said.
Drivers should expect traffic congestion on Main Street and on Ridegewood and Atlantic avenues through Sunday.
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