The recent deaths of two motorcyclists in Ohio at the end of October pushed the statewide total to 133 deaths and a total of 3,161 crashes that involved motorcyclists, reports the Dayton Daily News.
In this most recent incident, the driver and his passenger had both recently started wearing helmets after the death of a friend in a crash weeks before and had them on at the time of the accident, which is still under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol based out of Xenia. The victims, 23-year-old Brook Fudge and 25-year-old Sherill Cruea, his girlfriend, were returning home after the the Devil’s Staircase Hill Climb, a regional motorcycling event that sees thousands of riders flock to Warren County each year. The couple was heading north on US 42 when they hit a Dodge Charger that was in the Spring Valley and Paintersville Road intersection. Gregory Davidson, the 29-year-old driver of the Charger, was treated by paramedics on the scene. 27-year-old Julie Wells, his passenger, was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, according to local law enforcement.
While fault has not yet been determined in this fatal accident, it’s being reported that the Charger appeared not to yield to the motorcycle. One witness has reportedly said the motorcycle was going a high rate of speed about a mile away from the accident scene. However, Lt. Matt Schmenk of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Xenia Post noted that a motorcycle seen passing at a high speed before an accident does not mean it was speeding at the time of the accident.
Friends and family of both Cruea and Fudge expressed shock and sadness about the tragic accident. The couple had began using helmets after their friend, David Hill, was killed in a motorcycle crash in Xenia a few weeks earlier. In that accident, the 25-year-old was not wearing a helmet and suffered extensive head injuries before passing away at an area hospital.
It has been a grim year for motorcyclist accidents in Ohio, although this year’s total will hopefully be lower than that of 2016. Last year, Ohio saw 200 deaths across 4,235 crashes involving motorcycles, the highest number of deaths recorded in a single year over the last five years in the state.
Drivers not yielding the right of way to motorcyclists, as is alleged in the accident that took the lives of Fudge and Cruea, is a common cause of deadly motorcycle accidents. Sometimes, drivers are simply distracted and do not notice the motorcyclist until it is too late. In other cases, there are additional factors, such as a speeding vehicle driver or a person driving under the influence. Many car drivers are not used to sharing the road with motorcyclists despite the increased presence of bikes nationwide.
Motorcycle accidents can have devastating consequences for riders. If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, you have rights. Consult an experienced motorcycle or car accident lawyer Denver CO residents can trust about your case as soon as possible.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into motorcycle accident cases.