Milton man dies in early Sunday motorcycle crash

Published: Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 01:16 PM.

A second motorcycle accident at Hwy 90 and Smith's Fish Camp Road in less than two weeks has left a second biker dead. 

The Florida Highway Patrol is reporting Stephen Craig Hughes, 52, Milton, has been killed as the result of a drunk driver failing to yield right-of-way to the motorcyclist.

The accident happened at 3:03 Sunday morning when James Ashley McGowan, 39, Pace, was traveling west in the westbound left turn lane at Hwy 90, coming to the intersection of Smith's Fish Camp Road, according to FHP reports. Hughes was going east in the outside eastbound lane on Hwy 90 coming to the same intersection.

Traffic Homicide Investigators with FHP say McGowan "failed to recognize" Hughes approaching and pulled in front of him. As the Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck crossed the road, the 2013 Harley Hughes was operating hit the truck, throwing him into the side of the truck.

Hughes was transported to West Florida Hospital, where he died, according to FHP. McGowan was arrested for his fourth DUI, charged with DUI manslaughter.

Less than two weeks ago, on Feb. 26, a Pensacola man, Kevin Murphy, 50, was killed in the same manner, according to reports, when a vehicle driven by Richard Conrad, 23, Milton, hit the 2004 Yamaha motorcycle Murphy was operating. Murphy died on March 4 at Sacred Heart Hospital from injuries incurred in this crash, according to FHP. Alcohol was not a factor in this crash. Charges are pending.

Hughes is the sixth person to be killed while riding a motorcycle in the three-county area since the beginning of the year. Five of the crashes occurred in Santa Rosa County or involved Santa Rosa residents. 

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