Pothole in Dearborn Heights leaves motorcyclist in critical condition

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) - Dearborn Heights Police say a pothole caused an accident that left one man fighting for his life.

It happened on Beech Daly south of Warren on Sunday around 7:30 p.m. 

Steve Hills was riding his motorcycle when he hit a pothole.

Witnesses say he may as well have hit a wall. The motorcycle stopped. Hills kept moving. The 65-year-old from Redford Township hit his head as he landed yards away in the street. He is now in critical condition, in a medically-induced coma.

"We don't have any indication that this gentleman was doing anything wrong," said Sgt. Todd Learst of the Dearborn Heights Police Department. 

Learst said Hills was traveling at posted speeds when he hit the pothole and lost control.

Family members say Hills was an experienced driver.

"He and I have ridden for ten years," said Anthony Noble, Hills' nephew. "He has had a motorcycle for 42 years."

Noble says Hills didn't have a helmet on, and the family wonders if that could have prevented critical injuries.  Even with a helmet, it is clear the accident would have hurt him. 

"The doctors stated that the next 72 hours are critical for him," said Noble. "We are praying that he will come out okay, and hopefully the issue of the potholes will be addressed by our local government."

Wayne County sent out a road crew to patch the potholes in the stretch of road where the accident happened within 24 hours after the accident.  

Neighbors say the road has been patched before, but it is always wet there and the patches don't hold. Neighbors believe a water main leak is to blame. 

7 Action News made calls to the city and county regarding this. The county sent out an engineer to inspect the road. Mayor of Dearborn Heights Dan Paletko and city workers also came out to the site. They say they will get to the bottom of it and see that the repairs are done to make Beech Daly safe.

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