Lives lost as a result of senseless traffic accidents is a sad and tragic fact of life these days here in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Whether it’s a family losing a father or mother, or a wife’s loss of a husband to a commercial trucking wreck, there are no words that can console the victim’s loved ones. Any loss of life can be devastating to the relatives and friends of person killed in a fatal roadway collision.
Communities also suffer from the deadly results of a thoughtless driver’s negligent actions. While police officers and firefighters face the danger of personal injury and possible death every working day of their lives, it is a shame that numerous public servants are killed while off duty every year. Again, with most car, truck and motorcycle collisions being preventable, on the whole, these victims are stolen from their families and communities long before their time.
As Baltimore motorcycle accident lawyers and Washington, D.C., personal injury attorneys, I and my staff feel for the families of any person injured or killed in a traffic mishap. And even though many bikers understand the dangers inherent in their sport or chosen mode of transportation, when a crash does occur, it’s never a comfort to say they knew the risks.
But if one operates a cycle long enough, chances are you will become involved in an accident or have a brush with death or injury as a result of a close call. Whether one’s chosen ride is a sport bike, hog, cruiser or dirt bike, the lure of the open road and the freedom that a motorcycle represents is irresistible to many. Whether you live or ride to work in densely-packed metropolitan areas such as Annapolis, Rockville or Gaithersburg; or if you enjoy the relatively open rural roads, every biker understands the dangers posed by this sport.
In fact, it makes no real difference if one rides a Honda, Suzuki, Harley or Yamaha, motorcycling as a pastime is right up there with other rather risky hobbies. Any high-risk activity requires a modicum of caution, but to survive on a bike one needs to apply a balance of pleasure and the potential danger for physical harm.
Accidents do happen. And for motorcyclists the results can be serious, or even fatal. Just one severe injury accident can land a biker in the hospital for day, weeks, and even months or years. (Closed-head trauma is a typical injury most commonly associated with motorcycle accidents.) Even those individuals who choose to wear protective gear, including a helmet, can still suffer from paralysis, cognitive problems and even death.
A while back we read of a car-bike accident that led to the death of a local Maryland firefighter. As Maryland injury attorneys, I and my colleagues have seen this kind of traffic collision scenario play out. Unfortunately, too many times the victim’s family is hit with a double blow — the death of a loved one and the costs for that individual’s medical costs.
According to news reports, a 25-year-old firefighter died while riding to his fire station in Towson, MD, on a Tuesday a little before noon on a Tuesday in August. The accident happened along a stretch of U.S. Rte 1 in Bel Air. Police reports indicate that Kurt Chenowith was operating a Kawasaki Ninja sport bike southbound on Baltimore Pike when a vehicle driven by 73-year-old William Kelly pulled out of the a local Chevy dealership and into the path of Chenowith’s cycle.
Maryland State Police stated that Chenowith’s motorcycle hit the driver’s side of Kelly’s Olds Regency sedan as it was turning north onto Rte 1. The off-duty fireman was reportedly ejected from the bike and thrown a distance before he hit the ground.
Emergency responders helped to transport Chenowith to the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center; unfortunately, the young man was pronounced dead following his arrival at the hospital. A representative from the Baltimore County Professional Fire Fighters union said that the firefighter was scheduled to work later that evening at the Towson fire station.
No mention of whether either motor vehicle had a mechanical problem, such as defective brakes or other safety equipment, which could have contributed to the accident. Police reports show that it was raining heavily at the time of the car-bike collision.
Firefighter Dies in Route 1 Motorcycle Accident, Patch.com, August 9, 2011