Teenage Driver Who Killed a Maryland Motorcycle Rider will Only Pay a Small Fine

The 19-year-old motorist who reportedly caused a deadly motorcycle accident that killed a Maryland rider was fined $115 for the accident, although accident investigators determined that the driver was otherwise not negligent in regard to this traffic fatality. The deceased rider, Harry D. Catts, of Smithsburg, Maryland, passed away due to injuries received late in April on Pennsylvania’s Route 11.

Despite the seriousness of the accident, police and the local prosecutor’s office declared that Samantha Young was not “grossly” negligent when she turned her vehicle left into the path of the oncoming motorcycle. Eye witnesses said they saw the teenager make a left turn in front of the 72-year-old rider, who then struck the side of the girl’s vehicle.

Police reported that the crash occurred after 1 p.m. on April 26 at a busy intersection near the Plainfield exit of Interstate 81. According to reports, Young told an officer at the scene that she saw the green light and made the turn, but claimed she didn’t see the motorcyclist. An accident reconstruction team reviewed the crash scene but apparently found nothing out of the ordinary. Authorities stated that there was no alcohol or cell-phone use involved, and police said that the traffic signals were found to be working properly.

As Maryland Automobile Accident Attorneys, our office has represented many families who have lost a loved one through a motorcycle or car accident. Motorcycle accidents, in particular, can result in very serious bodily injuries or even death due to complications from head trauma or spinal cord injuries.

In this case, the police determined that the driver who caused the accident was simply inexperienced and therefore not grossly negligent for the motorcycle rider’s death. Despite the local district attorney’s statement that the accident was “a mere error of judgment,” there is little solace in the fact that the young woman received only a monetary penalty.

Any death is tragic, but traffic deaths are especially heartbreaking because many could have been prevented. If a relative or someone you know has been killed or injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, you need to contact a qualified car accident lawyer. The law firm of Lebowitz-Mzhen, LLC is experience in all types of traffic accident litigation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free initial consultation.

Newville woman, 19, cited in fatal crash, PennLive.com, May 22, 2009

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