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Motorcyclist Dies in I-540 Crash With Car That Crossed Median

A motorcycle rider traveling along the beltway around Morrisville, North Carolina (NC), lost his life after colliding with a car that wound up on the wrong side of the interstate. The fatal rear-end collision occurred on the afternoon of August 3, 2015, on I-540, which is known locally as the Triangle Expressway.



Police told reporters that the stage for the deadly crash was set when the westbound driver of a car lost control of his vehicle, crossed the interstate median and came to a stop in an eastbound lane. The motorcyclist could not swerve or stop in time to avoid hitting the back end of the car. The impact ejected the rider from his bike, and he died from a combination of traumatic brain injuries and other wounds.

Investigators ruled out alcohol use and speeding as reasons the driver ran out of control and crashed through a cable barrier in the grassy area separating the sides of the beltway. Perhaps the driver suffered a seizure. He may also have taken his eyes and mind off the road only to look up, see traffic slowing or stopped ahead, and oversteered while stomping on his brakes. He may face charges depending on which explanation proves true.

Regardless of why he appeared in the path of the motorcycle, the driver likely bears liability for causing the motorcyclists' death. Few circumstances relieve drivers of their duty to maintain control and respond appropriately to changing conditions. This loss of life in North Carolina tragically illustrates the consequences of failing to meet that duty.


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