UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies from crash injuries

A man is dead after a crash on Highway 281 in Grand Island. (KHGI)

A motorcycle driver has died after a crash with a vehicle on Highway 281 and State Street in Grand Island Thursday afternoon.

James R. O’Brien, from Loup City, died at a hospital from injuries sustained during the accident around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the Grand Island Police Department.

G.I.P.D. said O'Brien was driving south on Highway 281 when he sped up to beat a traffic signal and entered the intersection under a red light. Police said the driver of the second vehicle , Raymond Schmidt, 25, of York, was headed north on Highway 281. They said Schmidt waited and turned west onto State Street, colliding with the motorcycle.

Police said O'Brien's death didn't have to happen.

"This is a tragic incident, and made even more unfortunate by other factors that may have made this death preventable," said a statement from Captain Jim Duering. "O’Brien was wearing a novelty helmet at the time of the accident. A DOT approved helmet may have prevented the seriousness of the head injury contributing to his death. The DOT sticker observed on the back of the helmet is counterfeit. The absence of a 1” impact absorbing liner is the best indication that this helmet does not meet DOT standards. The novelty helmet nearly broke in half on impact."

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