A collision between an SUV and a motorcycle in southwestern North Carolina has left the two people on the bike dead. The fatal wreck occurred on June 6, 2015, between the towns of Maggie Valley and Waynesville.
According to news reports, the driver of the SUV caused the deadly crash near the interchange of U.S. 19 and U.S. 276 by pulling out from a parking lot and into the path of the motorcycle. The highways are known locally as Dellwood Road and Johnathan Creek Road, respectively.
No details were released on why the person behind the wheel of the larger vehicle failed to spot or chose to ignore the approaching two-wheeler. While it can be difficult to judge a bike's speed and distance accurately, drivers need to respect motorcyclists' right of way and err on the side of caution when turning, merging, changing lanes or crossing traffic. Cutting off motorcycles leads to thousands of disabling and fatal injuries each year, and each of the collisions potentially could have been prevented had a car, truck or SUV driver simply been more attentive and patient.
My NC personal injury and wrongful death attorney colleagues and I have helped dozens of motorcycle riders and their families pick up the pieces following accidents caused by drivers who failed to check their blind spots, ignored stop signals or claimed they "just never saw" the bikers they hit and hurt. Every case has pointed to the importance of drivers watching out for and respecting bikers. In addition to sending condolences for the friends and family of the riders who lost their lives in this most recent North Carolina wreck, we share our hope that everyone on the road does what they can to protect riders' lives.