Two people taking part in a motorcycle rally lost their lives after being struck from behind by a pickup truck on West Virginia 2 through Cabell County, WV. The deadly rear-end collision occurred on the afternoon of July 9, 2015, and several other vehicles became involved. In addition to the fatalities, a total of four people sustained injuries that required medical treatment.
Police do not know why the driver of the pickup could not slow down or stop in time to avoid hitting the motorcycle the deceased victims were riding. News reports do indicate, however, that the initial crash caused a truck approaching from the opposite direction to swerve, run out of control and slam into a parked car. The injured people appear to have been in the two trucks.
The motorcycle riders died at the scene, Investigators will need to look into whether the driver who hit them became distracted, had been speeding or was driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Regardless of the exact cause, the tragic outcome cannot be undone. My Virginia wrongful death law firm colleagues and I take every opportunity to remind drivers to watch for bikers and to share the road respectfully. One phrase we repeat often is that drivers hold motorcyclists' lives in their hands.
We say that because, simply, it is true. Holding the steering wheel of a moving car or truck puts a person in control of whether that vehicle collides with other people and vehicles. Small misjudgments, mere seconds of negligence and, too often, recklessness such as driving while intoxicated can result in easily avoidable injuries and deaths. This holds especially true for motorcycle riders who lack the protection of car and truck bodies.