A far-too-common type of accident cost a motorcycle rider in North Carolina at least one leg and left him in a medically induced coma. The August 10, 2015, wreck in Chocowinity, NC, appears to have occurred when a pickup truck driver attempting to make a left-hand turn failed to yield right of way to the biker who was traveling straight through the intersection. The U.S. 17 exit from NC 33 served as the site of the crash.
The impact left the motorcyclist critically injured and needing to be airlifted to a major medical center dozens of miles away. Doctors amputated one of the victim's legs and decided to place him under heavy sedation to prevent shock and pain from taking his life. The man behind the wheel of the pickup truck escaped injury. News reports indicated that police were considering charges but had not taken official action by the following day.
Drivers often fail to see motorcycles because they simply do not look for them. Many severe injuries and deaths could be prevented by taking a few extra seconds to scan the road for approaching bikes. When drivers do not do that, wrecks like this one south of Greenville regularly leave motorcyclists who survive the initial collision fighting for their lives and facing a difficult future without one or more limbs.
Amputations caused by accidents on the road or at work are among the worst for victims. Returning to full health takes on a new meaning when the person must redefine what constitutes a "normal" body. Whether the driver responsible for taking the motorcycle rider's leg ever faces a criminal charge, he should be held accountable for covering the victim's medical bills, therapy and rehabilitation costs, and damages for loss of function.