Motorcycle wheelie crash caught on tape, sparks concern

26-year-old Ryan Emmons of Oneida was pulling a wheelie on Morgan Road in Clay around 2:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon when he lost control of his bike, sustaining minor injuries.

Two of Emmons' friends, also riding motorcycles, captured the crash with cameras attached to their helmets. Officers say the accident could have been deadly.

'It's extremely dangerous," said Onondaga County Sgt. Crayg Dykes. "I mean, obviously motorcycles were not designed to be operated on one wheel. You know, you're looking basically directly up at the sky, not aware of any oncoming traffic."

Sgt. Dykes said stunt videos have grown in popularity over the last two to three years because of Facebook and YouTube.

The stunts are dangerous not only for riders, but for police officers. On Sunday afternoon, Deputy Karen Munro was responding to a high-priority call requiring two deputies when she witnessed the accident. She never made it to the call, and her other deputy was forced to handle the emergency alone.

Other motorcycle riders have mixed feelings about the stunts and videos. "It's extremely dangerous," said rider Zach Hilton. "You're like an ant driving down the road, and nobody notices you, and you've really gotta watch out for yourself. So putting pressure on yourself to do tricks the machine isn't designed to do - that's not a good thing. I wouldn't recommend that."

"It's not a bad thing," said rider Scott Kling. "You know, pick your spots...If you've got an open road, if you're by yourself, go for it."

The Onondaga County Sheriff's Department said it was already monitoring Emmons' Facebook page after discovering photos and videos of previous motorcycle stunts. Those posts will now be used as evidence against him in court.

If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail for reckless driving.