Two motorcycle riders died in a collision with an SUV in Suffolk, Virginia (VA). The deadly crash happened at the intersection of Old Mill Road and Old Myrtle Road at around 1:45 pm on May 1, 2017.
Police did not release details on why the fatal wreck occurred, but they did tell reporters that both vehicle were on Old Mill Road between downtown Suffolk and Windsor. Both the man operating the motorcycle and his female passenger, who had lived in Gates County, North Carolina (NC), died at the scene. The woman driving the SUV required hospital treatment for injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
Several scenarios are possible, ranging from a rear-end collision to a poorly executed passing attempt resulting in a head-on or sideswipe. One that bears particular investigation involves one of the vehicles making a sharp turn from Old Myrtle Road and crossing into the lane of the other vehicle on Old Mill Road. A key study of the causes of fatal crashes involving motorcycles conducted for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration revealed
The most common motorcycle accident involves another vehicle causing the collision by violating the right-of-way of the motorcycle at an intersection, usually by turning left in front of the oncoming motorcycle because the car driver did not see the motorcycle. The motorcycle rider involved in the accident is usually inconspicuous in traffic, inexperienced, untrained, unlicensed, unprotected and uninsured and does a poor job of avoiding the collision.
The deadly outcome for the two people on the motorcycle in Suffolk was sadly predictable. According to a factsheet prepared by the Highway Loss Data Institute of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “When motorcycles crash, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they’re more likely to be injured or killed. The federal government estimates that per mile traveled in 2014, the number of deaths on motorcycles was over 27 times the number in cars.”
Determining what happened in Suffolk is essential for allowing victims to file insurance claims. If the SUV driver caused the wreck, the families of the deceased motorcyclists would have grounds for pursuing compensation and damages for wrongful deaths. Conversely, the injured SUV driver could have grounds for making personal injury claims if the motorcycle was operated in a negligent or reckless manner.
Consulting with a Virginia personal injury and wrongful death attorney who has experience helping victims of motorcycle crashes will benefit all the people involved.