Whether you ride a Harley, Yamaha, Honda or any one of the vast array of motorcycles out there, you know how liberating these machines can be. However, you probably also know that these vehicles can be widow-makers when operated under the wrong circumstances. The incidence of motorcycle accidents, as reported last month, is expected to increase in 2009 due to the poor economy and the increase in use of more fuel-efficient two-wheeled transportation. As a Maryland motorcycle accident lawyer, my firm handles a large number of injury and accidental death claims involving bikes.
Although many accidents are the result of another person’s negligence, sometimes speed can contribute to the severity of a crash, which is particularly dangerous for the motorcycle rider. This is the case for the following three bike accidents which occurred in and around Maryland.
One rider was killed and another critically injured just a few days ago when the motorcycles they were riding collided on Maryland Route 100. According to Howard County police, the accident happened in the late afternoon near Snowden River Parkway on the westbound side of Route 100.
Sadly, a 41-year-old rider, Ronal Wayne Parker Jr. of Mitchellville, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other motorcyclist, Vincent Williams, 39, of Catonsville was air-lifted by Maryland State Police Medivac to University of Maryland Shock Trauma. Reports indicate that following the collision, one of the motorcycles continued briefly and struck a guardrail, which threw the rider from the bike.
Although police are still investigating the accident, a number of causes are possible, including rider error or defective equipment, each of which could have played a part in the accident.
Virginia State Police reported a fatal motorcycle accident that occurred on a Saturday morning early in August. The accident happened at 3 a.m. on Interstate 495 about three-quarters of a mile north of I-95. Authorities had to shut down the southbound lanes of I-495 for about six hours until emergency crews and police completed their work at the crash scene.
Based on news reports, police received calls that two motorcycles were traveling at high rates of speed along the interstate. An eye witness apparently saw one of the motorcycle riders pass a dump truck, then moments later the second motorcycle struck the back of the dump truck. That bike was subsequently hit by a 2005 Honda Civic killing 21-year-old Christopher M. Ford of Gainesville, Virginia.
The first motorcycle operator, 23-year-old Wendell Howard, Jr. of Manassas, was charged with reckless driving and failure to have a valid motorcycle endorsement. Police did not know at the time if alcohol was a factor in the crash.
Temple Hills, Maryland
A 24-year-old man was killed on a Saturday night earlier this summer when the motorcycle he was operating struck a van on the inner loop of the Capital Beltway just north of Branch Avenue. Maryland State Police said excessive speed played a role in the accident, which was reported just after 7 p.m. The victim was ejected from the motorcycle after it hit the van and then a guardrail.
Man Killed, Another Critically Hurt After Motorcycles Collide, WUSA9.com, September 7, 2009
Police Investigate Outer Loop Motorcycle Accident, WUSA9.com, August 6, 2009
Motorcyclist Killed On Capital Beltway, WUSA9.com, July 11, 2009