116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - Police investigators have some apparently reliable witnesses to the motorcycle accident that killed two people Saturday night on the main street of Cedar Rapids' Czech Village.
Courtney Jenkins, 27, of Cedar Rapids, and Christine Shroyer, 32, of North Liberty, died after the motorcycle operated by Jenkins left 16th Avenue SW in the 10 block and struck the curb before slamming into a heavy concrete planter. The accident happened about 11:20 p.m. in an entertainment district crowded with St. Patrick's Day revelers.
“There were lots of witnesses,” said Sgt. Cristy Hamblin. “It was at night, and it was nice weather.”
Hamblin said police have found some witnesses who hadn't been drinking alcohol.
“We're not going to take the statement of someone who had been drinking, but we do have several non-drinking witnesses,” she said.
Police can't address the question of intoxication until test results are returned in a month or more, but Jenkins' speed appears to have been a factor.
“That's what the first indication is,” Hamblin said. She said investigators will use measurements from the scene to reconstruct the accident.
“They were looking at he scuff marks and gouge marks and all of that,” Hamblin said.
On a block with a 15 mph speed limit, Jenkins lost control on a speed bump. The motorcycle struck the planter in front of the Red Baron Bar and Dance Club, 61 16th Ave. SW, and then a utility pole.
Jenkins' body also struck the flower pot. A light pole was sheared off in two places - once by the motorcycle and again by Shroyer's body - according to police.
Investigators will consult engineers to determine “as far as what kind of force would cause that to break,” Hamblin said.
She said a search of traffic records shows only 12 accidents in that block since 1999. Until Saturday night, none had involved any injuries or deaths.
Friends on Monday remembered Jenkins, a 2003 Jefferson graduate, as a show choir and marching band member as well as the class vice president. (Obituary, 8A.)
Antoine Jenkins said his younger brother, also known as CJ, took up motorcycle riding four or five years ago. He said CJ was a happy person who made other people smile.
“Don't speculate when you see a biker - don't judge,” he said. “He was a great guy to everybody he came in contact with and he'll be sorely missed.”
Antoine Jenkins said the family doesn't really know much about the other victim in the crash, Christine Shroyer.
Police said she was someone Courtney Jenkins knew, and he'd offered her a ride that night from another bar to the Czech Village area.
The Gazette's Dave Franzman contributed to this report.