An unsafe lane change on Virginia's Eastern Shore set off a series of events that left a man driving a motorcycle badly injured and the woman sharing the bike dead. The deadly wreck occurred in Northampton County on the afternoon of May 22, 2016.
According to investigators, the fatal accident started when a man in a Ford Focus attempted to change lanes on Route 13 just north of the interchange with Route 609. The maneuver nearly resulted in a sideswipe of the motorcycle, whose driver lost control while trying to avoid that collision. The motorcycle flipped, throwing its passenger, who died from her injuries after being transported to a hospital.
Virginia State Police identified the motorcycle passenger who lost her life as Christina G. Bowman-Weaver. The car's driver has been cited for making an unsafe lane change. Other charges may follow.
This tragedy highlights how careful highway drivers must be when changing lanes. It also calls attention to the necessity of checking and rechecking all blind spots when turning or moving over. Spotting motorcycles can be difficult, but the consequences of failing to exert the effort required to see two-wheelers are simply too great. Even though the car driver's initial lack of carelessness and inattention did not cause a crash, he created a situation that the motorcyclist could not escape without experiencing great harm.
My Virginia personal injury and wrongful death law firm colleagues and I have helped too many motorcycle riders hurt by people in cars and trucks who try to deny responsibility by claiming, "I never even saw the bike." That is never an acceptable excuse.