As far as motorcycling is concerned, there are numerous factors that conspire to challenge even the best of riders. Many times these “challenges” bring with them the prospect of injury or potential death due to the rather unforgiving nature of the pastime. Bikers must contend with dangers such as poor weather and road conditions, lack of visibility due to a motorcycle’s narrow vertical profile, and relative lack of protection bikes afford their riders.
Even the least significant bike crash can cause injuries such as cuts, bruises and dislocated joints. More severe motorcycle accidents — those involving collisions with commercial delivery trucks or passenger cars — can result in the biker sustaining broken bones, neck and spinal cord damage, and even traumatic brain injury. As personal injury lawyers serving the residents of Maryland and Washington, D.C., I and my colleagues are familiar with the range of bodily injury that can result from a bad traffic accident.
For most drivers of passenger cars, it is hard to imagine that motorcycle riders enjoy putting themselves in what is perceived by most of the motoring public as a constant state of peril. But understanding the drive and enthusiasm of the average motorcyclist, we can appreciate the draw that the open road has for this group of motorists.
While fatal traffic accidents are not an uncommon risk for motorcycle riders, the fact remains that motor scooters, cruisers, crotch-rockets and trail bikes all have their dedicated followers each prepared to brave the daily dangers and potential of personal injury in the quest of their passion. Sadly, injuries and occasionally untimely death catch up with more than one cyclists every year.
On regrettable example of this aspect of riding a bike occurred a short time ago when a local man was killed while riding his Harley along a stretch of Blue Ball Rd. near Elkton, MD. The crash happened on a Monday evening around 6:30pm when 40-year-old Clifford Harrington was reportedly attempting to make a left-hand turn at the intersection of Blue Ball and Leeds Manor Rd.
Based on police reports, Harrington was riding a ‘95 Harley-Davidson along the southbound lane of Blue Ball Road when he came to a stop in order to make a left turn. According to news articles, before Harrington could complete his turn, his cycle was struck from behind by a Ford Explorer driven by 56-year-old Larry Sparks, also from the Elkton area.
Maryland State Police troopers arriving on the scene interviewed the SUV driver, who reportedly said that he didn’t see the biker stopped in front of him. Spark’s, who reportedly received only minor injuries, also had a couple of passengers riding with him; two teenage girls, 14 and 16 years of age. The teens were apparently not injured in the crash as they did not need any medical attention, according to news reports.
Apparently, Harrington initially survived the impact with the sport utility vehicle. Emergency responders arriving on the scene likely transported him to Union Hospital, where he passed away less than an hour later from fatal injuries sustained in the bike-car crash. Sparks was also taken to Union Hospital for treatment and was subsequently discharged, according to police.
At the time of the news article, an accident reconstruction team from the MSP was still in the process of conducting an investigation of the fatal traffic accident. Based on the results of that investigation, the case could be sent to the state attorney for Cecil County to determine if Sparks will face any criminal charges.
(Updated) Motorcyclist struck and killed by SUV, CecilWhig.com, November 16, 2011