A collision between a motorcycle and a bicycle in Newport News, Virginia (VA), left the motorcyclist with fatal injuries. The deadly crash happened on Huntington Avenue at around 3:45 pm on September 1, 2017.
According to police, the bike rider entered Huntington Avenue midway between 51st Street and 52nd Street. The motorcyclist could not stop or swerve in time to avoid hitting the bike, and the impact caused him to lose control. Witnesses said the motorcyclist “went end-over-end for about half a block.”
The 24-year-old motorcycle rider died from his injuries a couple of hours after being taken to the hospital. The bicyclist suffered only minor injuries. It is unclear if that 49-year-old man will face charges for causing the crash that claimed the motorcyclists’ life.
The laws of Virginia place all the legal duties of vehicle operators and pedestrians on bike riders, with some exceptions mostly related to posted speed limits. The state’s transportation department summarizes the rules of the road bicyclists must follow in these terms:
- Every person riding a bicycle on a highway shall be subject to the provisions of the Code of Virginia section on motor vehicles and shall have the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle unless a provision clearly indicates otherwise.
- Bicyclists and other users on sidewalks, shared use paths, and crosswalks have all the rights and duties of a pedestrian under the same circumstance.
- Bicyclists and other users of shared use paths crossing highways at clearly marked crosswalks must come to a complete stop at stop signs prior to entering such crosswalk.
The intersection of Huntington Avenue and 52nd Street is marked with crosswalks at all four corners. Even if he had crossed there, the bike rider would have had a duty to check for the approaching motorcycle and, most likely, to yield right of way to the faster-moving vehicle that had no stop lights or yield signs to restrict movement.
If investigators with the Newport News Police Department find that the bicyclist acted negligently in causing this crash, the family of the deceased motorcycle rider would have strong grounds for filing insurance claims or a civil lawsuit for wrongful death compensation and damages. Consulting with a caring and experienced Virginia wrongful death attorney will enable the family members to understand their rights. Enlisting the help of a plaintiff’s attorney will also help the family deal with insurance company representatives.