Articles Posted in Motorcycle fatality

Published on:

iStock_000016429140XSmall-300x200Motorcyclists know the dangers that intersections present. Often these dangers are posed by caged drivers who, for example, fail to see a motorcyclist making a turn. The Atlanta motorcycle community has lost a great friend recently in a different kind of intersection crash. After a night of work as a bartender, a young man was sitting on his bike at an intersection and then, in a flash, he was killed. An allegedly intoxicated driver of an SUV came along behind the biker and not only struck him, but dragged him a few feet, pushing the bike into the intersection. The young man died as a result of his injuries in this tragic and fatal motorcycle crash.

The SUV driver is now charged with several crimes under Georgia law. These include the serious criminal charge of homicide by vehicle in the first degree under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-393 (a). This offense carries a prison sentence of “not less than three years nor more than 15 years.” Other offenses include driving under the influence. The crash occurred at the intersection of Ponce de Leon and Clifton Road which was closed for several hours after the crash. The authorities performed an investigation of the crash site to preserve evidence and document what happened.

We have learned some meaningful things about this fallen Atlanta motorcyclist as his community mourns his loss and expresses their grief. After the fatal crash, his co-workers and employers have shared their thoughts and feelings about this young victim. The deceased biker was a popular and beloved man. His co-workers at a Midtown restaurant and bar shared their experience of him. They say not only was he really good at his bartending job, he was also really good at being a friend and kind person. In the notice released by his employer he was said to have been not only a cherished mentor, but a friend, both generous and caring. They called him “inspiring.” Our hearts are heavy learning about this wonderful person, friend and colleague. We know that his family and friends are hurting now and we are thinking of them.

Published on:

iStock_000006752189XSmallMemorial Day weekend ended in tragedy for two very popular Georgians. Both lost their lives while riding their motorcycles. On Monday afternoon, Memorial Day, a College Park police officer’s stellar career was cut short when he lost control of his bike and hit a median strip. He was riding on I-20 in Covington and was taken to a local hospital, but passed away there. The department chief and the entire department is struggling to cope with the loss. Our hearts go out to the men and women who served with him and his family.

Another fatal motorcycle crash took the life of a popular food truck owner over Memorial Day weekend. The owner of a jerk chicken grill food truck, who’s Jamaican heritage informed his recipes, was killed in a crash. His family is left with no income as the recipes were all kept only in the truck owner’s head and hands. The well-liked chef was killed while “racing” two other riders.

The Georgia State Patrol reportedly is investigating the crash. It appears that the riders were racing at about 75 mph in a 35 mph zone. The officer tried to get the riders to slow down. Only minutes later, an accident was reported in which the chef was ejected off his bike and was critically injured, passing away later at Grady Memorial Hospital. While the precise cause of Sunday’s racing crash is not known, it might well be that alcohol played a role. The chef had been at a Memorial Day party earlier in the day.

Continue reading →

Published on:

iStock_000017380527XSmallA recent fatal motorcycle crash reminds us of the dangers of road debris for Georgia motorcycle riders. This past weekend, a Texas man lost his life after hitting a mattress that was in the road. Reports indicate that the rider saw the mattress, tried to avoid it, but wasn’t able to do so. He flew off his bike and landed on the pavement with a fatal head injury. At the time of this bike crash, the rider was not wearing a helmet.

Road debris is a hazard for all travelers. Road debris is particularly dangerous for cyclists and bike riders whose ability to scan the road ahead might well be blocked or hindered by other larger vehicles. Riding “defensively” can only do so much. Riders know they need to scan the road ahead and maintain calm when something unexpected appears on the roadway. It isn’t always possible to manage a way around debris, especially if it is large or it is positioned in a way that makes it difficult for the rider to move out of harm’s way. Cyclists often riding near the road shoulder and they know this is precisely where debris gathers. And it is also the most likely location a cyclist would use to avoid debris on a bike lane or roadway.

Continue reading →

Published on:

helmet-on-bicycle-10045610Fulton County has been in mourning this holiday season. NBC Atlanta reports that an off-duty MARTA Department of Police Services officer and former Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets player died recently in a motorcycle crash. A tragic irony in this fatal bike crash is that the crash occurred while he was escorting a funeral procession on his own bike. The cause is not known, but the motorcycle crashed into an SUV and a witness said she began to pray when she saw the officer on the ground. Authorities investigated on the scene and said they do not intend to cite the SUV driver or others involved in the crash. The loss of a dedicated officer is a tragedy regardless of how it occurs. He leaves behind five children. The sadness of this situation is made more poignant with the knowledge that he passed away while doing something for his community.

In contrast to this sad story of a downed Georgia rider and fallen hero, is a heartwarming story of a would-be tragedy averted by an off-duty veteran officer who saved a rider after a motorcycle accident. This past summer a Florida man was riding his motorcycle and on his way home when a car cut him off and he went flying. He hit a bus bench which literally cut off his left leg. A Good Samaritan attempted to stop the profuse bleeding that would have killed the rider.

But the story does not end that way. A guardian angel came on the scene and knew what to do. A part time Sheriff’s Deputy and Vietnam vet was in the area and happened to come upon the man who was now bleeding to death. When he could not stop that with his belt he knew to take his fingers and pinch the artery that was bleeding out. A medical helicopter was able to get the rider to safety. The Deputy saved the rider’s life and was honored in a ceremony in Tamarac, Florida. The rider plans to make the most of his life, get back to walking and sports with a prosthetic leg and to thank the Deputy for saving his life.

Continue reading →

Published on:

iStock_000006752189XSmallMany of us can relate to losing concentration for a moment while driving or riding. This is a moment we have all had on the road in which our eyes move away from the road ahead, or something causes us to end up on the rumble strip for a second. In that second, so much can happen, including a devastating and fatal bike crash. Such motorcycle crashes have happened in and around Atlanta. On a stretch of road across the country in San Diego, a young Marine was riding when he overcorrected seeking to avoid an oncoming vehicle. This move turned fatal, and tragically he lost his life. Riding his Triumph bike, he drifted into the oncoming lane of traffic. Once he overcorrected, he ended up on the shoulder, hit a boulder and was thrown from his bike. He had two young kids and a wife who has lost him way too soon. His riding and military families are in mourning for this father of two and one on the way.

Riders know that overcorrection can be a major hazard for experienced and inexperienced drivers. This is a hazard that riders train for, but once it occurs, it is difficult to get out of the consequences, which in this case were terrible. In his piece in the New York Times several years ago, titled “Motorcycle School, Be Very Afraid,” one author shares the key take aways learned in his riding course. These included common sense advice like do not ride if you are in a hurry; do not ride if you are thinking about something else; never remove your focus from the road in front of you, and; NEVER become overconfident. In short, he concludes, its ok to be afraid, that can keep you safe. It is not easy in this complex world we live in to maintain concentration at all times when riding, but it is so important for rider safety.

Continue reading →

Published on:

fallTime and time again, we have written about drivers of caged vehicles who cause serious accidents, injuries and fatalities to motorcycle riders. Over many years, patterns have emerged and worsened as drivers become more and more distracted and do not look carefully at the road or their surroundings. The visibility of a motorcycle and rider are key to rider safety. Riders can do all they can to be visible, but if a driver doesn’t pay attention and concentrate, a rider’s safety can be sacrificed.

We know that intersections are fraught with danger for motorcycle riders. Statistically, inattentive cagers who drive into an intersection to make a left turn can present a serious threat to riders. When a driver fails to yield the right of way to oncoming motorcycles or other vehicles and makes the turn, disastrous results can occur. Georgia riders have had their share of tragedy caused by failures to yield. Georgia law is clear in this regard. The Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-71 states that a driver attempting to make a turn in an intersection must yield to vehicles approaching. Drivers making a turn must quickly assess whether an oncoming vehicle is close enough so that turning would be hazardous. In my law practice, I have represented many motorcycle accident victims who have been struck by caged drivers because the drivers failed to see them.  Continue reading →

Published on:

Motorcycle rider on fall roadwayAn unusual incident involving a Rex, Georgia motorcycle rider occurred last week. Police in North Myrtle Beach report that a man riding a stolen motorcycle was killed after running a red light. The authorities said they attempted to stop the rider because his license wasn’t displayed correctly, but the rider did not stop for the police and instead dropped off his female passenger in a parking lot and sped off. The passenger is from Decatur, Georgia and was not injured in the accident.

While all of this was unfolding, the rider ultimately ran a red light and struck the side of a boat that was being towed behind a pick up truck. The driver of the truck was attempting to make a left turn at the time of the crash. The rider, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown a great distance from the stolen bike and although he was taken to the hospital, he passed away from his injuries. He may have sped up just prior to the collision. This appears to be a tragic accident that could have been avoided.

At this point, the authorities are not citing anyone for this accident. And although the man appears to have been evading the police, we have no facts about why he was riding the stolen bike or if he knew it was a stolen bike. The early reports indicate that the bike had been stolen in Alabama.

Continue reading →

Published on:

motorcyclecrashSeveral motorcycle crashes over the past two weeks in the Atlanta area have served to remind us all of the dangers of intersection motorcycle collisions and other potential for fatal collisions as the weather improves and more riders are out on their bikes. We need everyone to stay safe, but spring has already seen fatalities that are leaving families and friends grieving. Just this past week, two vehicles, one a motorcycle and one an pick up truck collided in an intersection in Gwinnett County. Reports of this collision indicated that the truck driver, who was attempting to make a U-turn, drove into the bike’s path. The rider did not survive this crash. And another collision in Gwinnett between a car and a bike near the Mall of Georgia occurred this past week, with potential injuries that have not been reported at this time.

Another rider was fatally injured after a car attempting to turn left in a Cobb County intersection was struck by the bike. The driver and passenger in the car were not seriously injured, but were treated for the injuries they did sustain.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Published on:

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.

Continue reading →

Contact Information