In a tragic accident in Huntersville, North Carolina, police say that a motorcyclist died after another driver made an improper turn into the biker’s path. The accident was severe and required a response from officials with the Huntersville Fire Department, MEDIC, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and State Highway Patrol.

According to emergency officials, the wreck took place a little after 3 p.m. last Sunday near the 16700 block of Huntersville-Concord Road. Police say that Kenneth Owens, Jr., was on his motorcycle heading northeast on Huntersville-Concord Road when he encountered a Chevy Trailblazer driven by 73-year-old William Holtzclaw.

Holtzclaw, who was heading the opposite direction, made a sudden left turn into Owens’ lane, leaving the 40-year-old motorcyclist no chance of escape. Witnesses and accident reconstructionists say that Owens did exactly what he should have done and laid the motorcycle on its side, an attempt to slow the speed of the bike and avoid colliding with the Trailblazer.

Sadly, there was simply no time to avoid the accident and Owens’ bike crashed into the passenger side of Holtzclaw’s Trailblazer. By the time emergency responders from MEDIC were on the scene it was too late and Owens was declared dead. Holtzclaw has since been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and failure to yield the right of way.

Officials revealed that Owens was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, demonstrating that even those who take every possible precaution cannot always guarantee their safety. The fact is motorcyclists are far more vulnerable in the event of an accident than occupants of a passenger vehicle. Given this vulnerability, it is critical that drivers take special care to watch out for bikers.

Given the low profile of motorcycles, they can often be difficult to spot, which is why drivers should double-check before making rapid lane changes or turning across traffic. Common sense tips like checking before turning across a lane of traffic should be obvious to all drivers. If more people took the time to drive carefully, motorcyclists like Owens would stand a better chance of making it home safe and sound.

Here’s a Google Map showing the location of the deadly North Carolina motorcycle accident: