Georgia on Two Wheels
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Thumbnail image for candles .jpgLast month, one of the musicians for a popular heavy metal band lost his life on his bike. Our sympathies go out to his family and friends. Although reports do not provide a great deal of detail on the passing of the Black Tusk bass player and Georgia resident Jonathan Anthon, he was said to have sustained what were deemed critical injuries after his Harley bike broadsided another vehicle. The band had several recordings already out on their record label and had just finished another in the recent past.

The band posted a very sad memorial note on their website. They had been advised by the hospital physicians that Mr. Anthon sustained severe brain injuries. Although he was placed in a medically-induced coma, the doctors were not able to save him after the serious injuries to his head that eventually caused his death. Apparently, his wishes were known by those close to him or he had a health care directive which indicated that he did not want to remain on life support and that he wanted his organs donated. The deceased band member’s girlfriend was a passenger on the bike when the crash occurred. She survived the crash without serious injury, but her loved one did not.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for burned out bikeGeorgia on Two Wheels has posted in the past about the dangers of guardrails to motorcycle riders, and to vehicles in general, during a collision. Just this past week, a couple riding their bike in California rounded a curve, hit a guardrail and were fatally injured. They were wearing helmets, reportedly speed was a factor in the crash. Such tragedy seems unlikely given that guardrails are supposed to protect, not kill. But many unsuspecting riders and drivers are unaware of the inherent dangers in many guardrail systems. Drivers assume that these roadside structures are intended to keep them safe on impact. But unfortunately, the opposite can be the case. Last year, we posted about a Marietta man who was killed when his bike crashed into a guard rail in a single bike crash. Guardrails are not only dangerous to riders in a collision, but drivers in general in four wheel vehicles. We have just learned that the Georgia Department of Transportation will no longer use a particular type of guardrail due to safety concerns. Due to pending litigation involving a particular guardrail system, they have issued a moratorium on the installation of the guardrails until further testing is completed.

The particular guardrail in question is called the “ET-Plus.” An investigative report by Channel 2, WSBTV noted that a passenger was killed when part of a guardrail entered the vehicle in which he was riding struck the guardrail. Although this type of guardrail is intended to keep motorcycle riders, cars and trucks safe, there is a big issue with these guardrails. In the horrific injury involved in the I-285 crash, the guardrail actually went through a door of the vehicle and struck the passenger. Otherwise, that portion of the vehicle was actually not at all impacted during the crash. The victim’s family was left to grieve a loss of life that was avoidable, the worst pain of all.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for iStock_000003222033XSmall.jpgThe danger of intersections for bikers was brought home again this week as a Paulding County man was killed on his bike. The 55-year-old beloved grandfather was on his way to a bike rally. His life was cut short when another vehicle failed to stop at a red light and attempted a left turn through an intersection which the biker was entering at the time. Other bikers ran to help the victim, but tragically he had been struck and was dragged quite a distance after he was hit. He ended up under the vehicle. His wife was one of the other bikers traveling with the victim. It is possible that the driver of the vehicle that allegedly struck the biker may have been talking on her cell phone at the time of the crash. Reports indicated that other drivers stopped at the intersection, while she continued to drive through it and some witnesses report seeing her on her phone. This is not confirmed.

The driver has now been charged in the biker’s death. Charges against the driver include those found in Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-393 for homicide by vehicle, as well as failing to stop at a red light. The biker’s happy trip to the Georgia State HOG Rally was cut short so tragically and needlessly.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for burned out bikeThis past week, a Georgia State Route 144 motorcycle crash resulted in a life flight to Memorial Medical Health University. The rider was said to have been traveling eastbound when the truck in front of him began to make a turn or was stopped. Unfortunately, the bike hit the left rear wheel of a truck and ended up on its side, sliding across the road with its rider on it. It was reported by the Georgia State Patrol that the biker may not have been able to see the truck’s rear lights due to cargo that was strapped to the back of the truck. It is uncertain whether charges will be filed against either driver.

Coming up on a road hazard is not actually a rare occurrence. All riders need to be prepared to know what to do when out of the blue, a vehicle or other hazard appears. Although we do not know whether there was a way for the rider to avoid hitting this truck, given the issue with the truck’s brake lights being concealed by cargo, we thought it might be helpful to go through some braking tips in case a reader encounters a road hazard and needs to quickly avert and take defensive action.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 1214589454Q2B5aO.jpgLast month, we posted about a Morningside hit and run involving a person driving a vehicle and a cyclist, which apparently was the result a previous interaction between the two. The vehicle’s driver has now been arrested. The accident … which authorities allege was an intentional collision … seriously injured a cyclist who was hospitalized for an extended time and is now recovering from brain trauma at another location under medical care. The suspect in the hit and run was taken into custody and is charged with several serious charges, including attempted murder and serious injury by vehicle found in Official Code of Georgia sections 16-4-1, 16-4-1(a) and 40-6-394. The cyclist and the vehicle’s driver had an interchange only minutes prior to the hit and run. Although he tried to extricate himself from the verbal altercation, the cyclist was tracked down and according to police intentionally struck by the driver. In addition, another person (apparently the driver’s girlfriend) has been arrested for evidence tampering. This too is a serious crime in Georgia set out in Official Code of Georgia section 16-10-94 which prohibits interfering with evidence or with the apprehension or prosecution of persons involved in potentially criminal activities.

The hit and run appears to have been solved through the offering of a reward and the type of investigative work we have discussed previously in hit and run accidents. In this situation, the authorities were able to locate evidence that matched up to the arrested suspect’s vehicle. In addition, the reports on the arrests reveal that investigators also had some video recorded evidence that shows the suspect’s girlfriend who has also been arrested, with doing something with the evidence in their possession. The investigation was also greatly guided and supported with the use of video from the scene. Cameras captured an unusual sequence of events that unfolded on a quiet evening in Morningside.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for burned out bikeWhen riders get out on their bikes on a summer evening, the expectation is that the ride will be safe and sound. Over this past weekend an accident took place in the early morning hours on the Downtown Connector involving two traveling on a Suzuki GSX. A car driven by an allegedly drunk driver attempted a lane change which resulted in a swipe or clip collision with the motorcycle. The female passenger riding on the back of the bike ended up on the roadway and was then allegedly run over by the car.

The car’s driver was tested for alcohol and was found to have nearly double the legal limit. That driver has been charged with several violations of Georgia law, including first degree homicide by vehicle, driving under the influence and other related violations. The bike’s driver left the scene when his passenger — who had been struck by the car — did not respond to him. She lost her life, apparently at the scene of the accident. There is no information on why he left the scene or what his condition was at the time, but he too has now been charged in the accident with various violations. He is reported to have sought medical treatment at Grady Memorial Hospital and he too was charged with some violations of Georgia law including first-degree homicide by vehicle and hit and run.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for bicycles on georgia roadEarlier this month, a cyclist ended up in critical condition after an incident in Morningside. The situation is complicated by the fact that a driver involved in this incident has not yet been located and the police are asking for the public’s help. The police have said they need anyone with information to help find an SUV driver who allegedly intentionally struck the cyclist after a traffic incident. After viewing videos of the situation, authorities intend to charge the driver of the SUV with aggravated assault which is found in Official Code of Georgia section 16-5-21. They need to find him first. A $15,000 reward has now been raised to help find the suspect.

The cyclist who remains hospitalized with catastrophic injuries to his head and neck, was struck by an SUV after what appears to be an altercation. The authorities have been assisted by a video that shows an SUV driving on Flagler Avenue in one direction, going out of view and then driving in the opposite direction. The video also reveals the cyclist riding very fast in that same direction being followed by the SUV. Those who witnessed the event, have told the police that they heard a verbal dispute between the driver and the cyclist prior to the cyclist being struck. The cyclist had a close call with the SUV on an intersecting road prior to being hit on Flagler. The cyclist apparently was speeding off trying to avoid being further involved with the driver when allegedly (and the video indicates this) the SUV driver turned around to follow him and allegedly to intentionally strike him. The vehicle involved is a Dodge Nitro, in a burgundy color. It is anticipated that there might be damage to this SUV.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for burned out bikeWe have posted previously on hit and run accidents that are becoming more and more prevalent across the country. We have also posted on situations in which individuals attempt to hide their vehicles from authorities, get them painted or repaired, or otherwise attempt to dispose of them to avoid being criminally charged in these accidents. A recent Gwinnett County fatal accident has brought attention to several other illegal actions alleged to have been taken after an accident that took place last month. This situation, ending in the death of one man who had been riding his motorcycle, has turned out to be something quite different than was first understood.

In late April, a Gwinnett County accident involved the collision of cars and a motorcycle. At first, this tragic situation that ended the life of the biker, appeared to be a simple accident among friends coming home after a night out. But after investigation, the authorities have determined and allege that five individuals were involved in something more, including first degree vehicular homicide. Some have also been charged with evidence tampering and a number of other charges that include reckless driving and hit and run. Piecing together the sequence of events, and what apparently occurred to cause the death that occurred, authorities have concluded that a great deal more happened that night than what was first understood.

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Thumbnail image for helmet-on-bicycle-10045610.jpgWe like to keep our readers informed on many aspects of riding. Safety and recalls associated with bikes, are among the things all riders should know about before getting on the road. Recently, it came to our attention that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is recalling many BMW models from the model year 2013. If you have a 2013 BMW please click the link here to learn about which models are being recalled. There are about eight models and about 4500 bikes that have the issue of concern which is a big one. The problem that has been detected is the potential for water to infiltrate the side stand switch. This is turn can cause the bike to stop running or to fail to start. The company has found that in rain or washing conditions, water has become a culprit and a possibly very dangerous one at that. Thankfully, there are no reports of bikers being injured or having accidents due to this issue.

The other big issue with this recall is that the manufacturer has stated that all the bikes in the group have this potential condition. Why? Because according to BMW, the entity that supplied this switch to the company did not make the side-stand switch according to specs. The situation occurred after there was a change in the tooling of the part and the supplier did not make the changes that were called for by BMW. The good news is that BMW learned of this problem when a vehicle it was testing shut down during a test ride. The supplier was then asked to test their part and it was determined that the manufacturing was flawed. To find out more about this problem or any other recall involving vehicles by NHTSA, you can visit BMW motorcycles.

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Motorcycle riders in the sunset.jpgIf you thought you had seen the most beautiful of bikes every created, you might be wrong unless you attended the recent sale reported by Robert Frank in his piece Road Hog: $1 Million Motorcycle Coming Soon. Mr. Frank reports that a Danish custom motorcycle guru has now sold a very very golden bike to the tune of $850,000. But is there even greater gold ahead? Apparently, this same maker has hinted at a new endeavor that will result in a bike that is likely to be sold at One Million Dollars.

First, the bike that just sold which has been aptly named “Goldfinger,” is quite sparkly with not only gold plated parts, diamonds as well. Tough to miss this one on the afternoon ride. Naturally, a private buyer owns this gorgeous piece of bike history. But the identity of the owner and his or her place of residence is not known and will not be revealed unless spotted out on the open road somewhere. Next up, is another custom work of art that will move into the seven figures. Now, that would be some rich ride.

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