A head-on collision between a pickup truck and a moped on Smyrna Road in Kershaw County, South Carolina (SC), on the night of October 17, 2014, let the scooter operator seriously injured and the passenger on the moped dead. The accident occurred north of the town of Elgin, and police say the truck driver had crossed the center line of the rural highway before causing the fatal crash.
Authorities did not immediately release information about why the man behind the wheel of the pickup wound up in the path of oncoming traffic. Television station WLTX 19 is reporting that charges are pending, but it is unclear whether investigators determined that the at-fault driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol, distracted, falling asleep at the wheel, speeding or merely negligent in failing to maintain a proper lane.
Even when wearing helmets and other protective gear, moped riders have little protection against disabling and life-threatening injuries. Like bicyclists and motorcyclists, moped riders' best guarantees of safety come from other people on the road acting responsibly and paying attention to who else is traveling beside them, approaching or attempting to turn or merge. Staying in one's own lane is essential for avoiding accidents with any type of vehicle, of course. As this fatal head-on collision illustrates, however, impacts between four-wheel and two-wheel vehicles too often result in irreversible tragedies.
My Carolina wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our condolences to the friends and family of the passenger who lost her life. We also wish the injured rider a full and rapid recovery.