MONTREAL - Two serious accidents involving motorcycles Tuesday evening have left two men dead.

One fatal collision occurred at 8:15 p.m. on the corner of St. Joseph Blvd. East and Molson St. in Rosemount.

According to the initial analysis by Montreal police crash investigators, it appears a 32-year-old off-duty police officer was riding west on St. Joseph Blvd. East on his motorcycle when a car traveling east turned left to head north on Molson St.

The motorcycle hit the side of the car, throwing the rider off the bike.

The motorcycle rider was seriously injured and taken to hospital, where he died a short time later.

The intersection was closed for several hours as investigators attempted to re-create the circumstances of the crash.

Earlier Tuesday evening, at 5:25 p.m., another serious motorcycle crash, about three kilometres south on the corner of D'Iberville St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd., injured a paramedic who works for Urgences Santé.

A cube truck belonging to the fire department was responding to a call and traveling west on de Maisonneuve Blvd. as the motorcycle was traveling south on D'Iberville St.

"According to witnesses the fire truck had his flashers and siren on and went through the red light," said Montreal police Const. Daniel Lacoursière.

Witnesses say the fire department truck slowed as it approached the intersection, but the motorcycle still hit the side of the truck and the rider wound up underneath it.

A witness said he didn't believe the motorcyclist heard the siren because there were two bikes running side by side and making a lot of noise.

It is very unlikely the rider would have been able to see the firetruck because at that corner a three-story building on de Maisonneuve Blvd. is built flush with the sidewalk.

The victim, a 39-year-old father of two, was transported to hospital in critical condition with internal bleeding.

Despite the best efforts of doctors, he died of his injuries overnight.

Area residents say they find the intersection of D'Iberville St. and de Maisonneuve Blvd. to be very dangerous, and one person said he has seen three collisions in the past month.

Serious motorcycle crashes not the norm

While two serious collisions involving motorcycles only three hours and three kilometres apart is alarming, it belies the trend in Quebec over the past few years.

According to statistics gathered by the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), the number of motorcycle accidents has sharply declined since 2005.

Fatal accidents involving motorcycles dropped 26.7 per cent over a five-year span, from 64 province-wide in 2005 to 40 in 2010.

Motorcycle accidents resulting in serious injury also dropped by 15.4 per cent over the same period, although they have held relatively steady over the past two years, with 243 such accidents in 2008 and 251 in 2010.

From 2005 to 2010 the number of motorcycles on Quebec's roads dropped by 5,000, a 4.6 per cent decrease, while the number of cars on the roads increased by seven per cent.