A moped rider lost his life in Dorchester County, South Carolina (SC), when an SUV driver trying to pass a third vehicle crashed into him. The fatal collision occurred near the intersection of Ashley River Road/Highway 61 and Mateeba Gardens Road at around 6 am on September 9, 2016.
Highway Patrol investigator determined that the moped rider was wearing a helmet but died from his injuries at the scene of the crash near Summerville. He had been trying to turn left off the main road when the SUV changed lanes to move around a vehicle that was stopped behind the moped. News reports do not indicate whether the SUV driver will face charges for causing a death, making an illegal lane change or attempting an unsafe pass.
Ashley River Road is a two-lane rural highway divided by double yellow lines for most of its distance. Drivers cannot cross double yellow lines except to turn at recognized intersections and business or residential entrances or to avoid a crash. Crossing a double yellow line merely to pass a slow-moving or stopped vehicle is prohibited. Doing so can also be considered negligent or reckless.
It is likely that the SUV compounded his or her error in attempting to pass in a no-passing zone by failing to spot the turning moped rider. Small two-wheelers such as mopeds, motorcycles and bicycles are often difficult to see, and this is especially true around sunrise when shadows and glare cause visual confusion for many drivers.
Whether police charge the SUV driver involved in this deadly moped crash with a traffic violation or criminal offense, it seems likely that that deceased victim would still be alive if the driver stayed in his or lane and waited until traffic began moving again.