This has been a very very bad week for local riders. We have lost two motorcyclists to the same or similar danger -- a vehicle turning left and failing to yield the right of way. In this tragedy, a 19-year-old man was killed. I mentioned in my last post that riders can only protect themselves from this type of motorcycle crash by using every possible means to be seen by other vehicles. In our next post, we will share some thoughts on this, but for now, we are sending our sympathies to the families of these two victims.
I have represented many bikers who have been in this situation and have been injured or worse in my law practice as a Gwinnett County motorcycle accident lawyer. A grieving family isn't really consoled by the compensation they receive for the wrongful death of a loved one, but at least they can move on with their lives and have some protection for others left with the loss, such as children and spouses.
We have discussed in the past that it is extremely difficult for riders to protect themselves if and when another vehicle simply crosses the path of an oncoming rider -- which is what happened in this situation and the fatal crash we posted about earlier this week. Wearing a helmet that is structurally sound and other protective gear can help protect your head and your ability to see. But, nothing can protect you from a driver going at full speed and turning in your path. That is just careless and it is against Georgia law.
In the most recent crash in Forsyth County, a pick-up truck driver was driving northbound on Heardsville Road, when he made a left turn into a parking lot at the Old Heardsville Store. The truck hit a young rider who was traveling southbound on the same road on his Yamaha bike. The fatal crash occurred in the afternoon hours, so weather and visibility do not appear to be factors in this crash.
The rider is reported to have been thrown from the motorcycle and pronounced dead at the scene. He attempted to avoid the impact of the oncoming truck by taking some evasive measures, but was thrown from his bike. The truck driver was not injured in the crash and was immediately arrested and charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide and failure to yield while turning left.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-393 sets out the crimes involving homicide by vehicle. The charge of misdemeanor vehicular homicide carries a lesser penalty than more serious offenses, such as first degree homicide by vehicle.
In our post earlier this week, we shared the fatal crash of another rider that happened the same way this one did. A car was riding in the opposite direction of a woman on a scooter and made a turn directly into her path. She died after her transport to a local hospital.