Man arrested and woman airlifted in motorcycle crash

A 29-year-old Homestead man was arrested and his girlfriend was airlifted early Sunday morning after both fled from Sheriff’s Office deputies in the Upper Keys.

Steven Wayne Walker and Adriana Beatriz Romero, 29, also of Homestead, were each illegally passing other vehicles while riding motorcycles northbound near Mile Marker 81 about 2 a.m. when they were spotted by Deputy Bryan Branco. Deputy Branco turned on his lights and siren and attempted to make a traffic stop, but both motorcyclists fled. The chase was soon called off for safety reasons. They were then spotted by Deputy Addison LaPradd near Mile Marker 88. Deputy LaPradd attempted to stop them with lights and sirens on, but both motorcyclists again fled.

Deputy LaPradd soon found one of the motorcycles on the ground near Mile Marker 89. One of the motorcyclists, later identified as Romero, was on the ground complaining of back pain. She was airlifted to a Miami hospital. Paramedics and firefighters as well as the Florida Highway Patrol arrived soon thereafter.

The other motorcyclist, Walker, was also on scene. He told Deputy LaPradd he and his girlfriend had been in Key West until 1 a.m. looking at other motorcycles for his business. When asked why he didn’t stop, Walker said he didn’t know deputies were trying to stop them.

Walker was charged with fleeing and eluding. He was taken to the Monroe County Detention Center on Planation Key where he remained later Sunday morning under no bail.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.