Omaha police have named the young man who crashed into a light pole near the Dodge Street pedestrian bridge Thursday night. Witnesses said he was driving at a high rate of speed and doing wheelies just before he lost control.
21-year-old Nathan Bird is at Creighton University Medical Center being treated for a broken back, fractured leg and pelvis. He has lost use of his legs and it's not clear if he will be able to walk again.
Bird is an employee at Full Throttle Motorsports in Council Bluffs. His coworkers say bikes are his passion and he is known for being a risk taker. But they also say as an sales adviser in the store, he always put safety first with customers.
"It's heartbreaking to hear that anybody would have to go through something like that and it’s going to be a challenge for him ahead," says General Manager Brett Edwards.
"We’re not making any excuses for him, you just don’t want this to happen to anybody no matter what the circumstances."
Investigators say Bird and his motorcycle slid some 100 yards before hitting the metal light pole.
The pole fell into the westbound lanes of Dodge. One driver ran over it. Two other vehicles collided as one of them tried to avoid the obstacle. OPPD was on the scene to repair the downed pole.
Bird was wearing a D.O.T. approved helmet.