While we’ve said it before, it bears additional repetition in this instance: Motorcyclists as well as bicycle riders must be on top of their game when it comes to sharing the road with other motor vehicles. The fact is, traffic accidents happen, but accidents involving cars and two-wheelers can turn out very badly for the cyclist or motorcycle rider. Be aware, too, that crashes involving heavy commercial trucks, such as tractor-trailers and large box trucks can be downright deadly for those traveling on two-wheels.
Of course, this is information nothing new. As personal injury attorneys representing victims of truck and automobile accidents here in Maryland, as well as in Washington, D.C., I and my colleagues understand the seriousness of any roadway accident, but those that include relatively unprotected individuals can result in critical injury. Quite often, bikers, cyclists or pedestrians are killed in traffic accidents, which is why we also represent the families of victims who have lost a loved one through a traffic collision caused by a negligent or thoughtless driver.
When it comes to motorcycles, riders and passenger alike should know how tenuous their safety can be amidst heavy traffic or when passing through intersections in a busy part of town. More than one rider has been hurt or killed by a car or truck whose driver did not see them or didn’t observe a red traffic signal. Excuses aside, the end result can be tragic for everyone involved. We will add, too, that drunken driving on a bike is an invitation to disaster like no other.
We are constantly reminded of the numerous injuries and deaths that motorcycling and bicycling communities endure on a yearly basis here in Maryland and across the U.S. A story we ran across a while back reminded us of this fact, as well as the twists of fate that can leave one person alive and another dead or near death. According to that article, a Hagerstown motorcycle rider was indicted earlier this year in connection with a fatal crash that left his female passenger dead in nearby Berkeley County.
Based on that report, the rider was charged with three felony counts in the roadway death of
Lorena Roberts, who was riding on the back of the man’s bike when the incident occurred. Police lodged those charges against the 45-year-old biker who was allegedly drunk when his bike struck a utility pole and then hit the back of a Ford pickup truck. Following the crash, the man apparently walked away from the crash site and laid down in a nearby front yard several hundred yards away.
The police accident report indicated that the two individuals where riding southbound around 11pm when the crash took place. A state police trooper, who testified during a preliminary hearing, stated that he had determined that the cycle was going approximately 48mph at the time of the wreck. That officer also told the court that he and a K-9 search unit found the driver in the yard of a residence lying on his back with his helmet to one side.
Police measured the man’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) and found it to be 0.137 percent, almost double the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Upon being questioned, the driver admitted to police that he had consumed alcohol prior to the crash and as a result he left the scene of the accident because he was scared. According to news reports, the suspect also said that he had picked up the victim from another bar a while before the fatal crash. At the time of the news article, no decision had been reached as to the man’s guilt or innocence, as the indictment only showed that police believed he may have committed the offences lodged against him.
Hagerstown man indicted in fatal motorcycle crash, Herald-Mail.com, February 23, 2012