A West Virginia motorcycle rider suffered fatal injuries when a log truck rolled over onto him. The fatal wreck occurred just before 9 am on the morning of May 11, 2015, in the town of Belva, where WV 16 and WV39 come together. The motorcyclist appears to have been stopped to make a turn from the part of 16/39 known locally as Turnpike Road, and the truck carrying freshly cut trees approached the two-wheeler from behind.
Police who responded to the scene of the deadly crash could not immediately determine why the accident happened. While investigators have ruled out drug and alcohol use, law enforcement officials must also consider whether the commercial truck driver had been speeding too fast to stop when the motorcycle did, if the trucker had become distracted behind the wheel, or if the log truck operator had been following the bike too closely. All that is known for sure at this point is that the truck driver did swerve in an attempt to avoid rear-ending the motorcycle, and that this last-second action led to the rollover that crushed the motorcyclist.
The spot where the fatal rollover occurred is a narrow, two-lane rural highway with almost no shoulders. The roadway is bordered by a rock wall one one side and multiple parallel railroad tracks on the other. When traffic conditions change, drivers have little time to react appropriately and safely. Even a minor miscalculation of one's speed or following distance can result in tragedy. Getting distracted cannot be allowed.
My West Virginia wrongful death attorney colleagues and I send our deepest condolences out to the friends and family members of the motorcycle rider who lost his life in this Belva, WV, crash. Equally, we urge everyone to take all necessary steps to drive safely and attentively in areas where minor mistakes can quickly escalate into major tragedies.