A woman out for an early-morning Saturday motorcycle ride died after an SUV driver struck her as she turned off Wagener Trail Road in Aiken County, South Carolina (SC). The deadly crash occurred on August 6, 2016.
According to police and witnesses, the man behind the wheel of the SUV caused the fatal collision by moving into the lane for oncoming traffic and attempting to pass a line of motorcyclists. The SUV driver continued traveling down Wagener Trail Road after striking the motorcycle rider, but police managed to catch and apprehend him.
The deceased victim initially survived the wreck but later died from her injuries at a hospital. The cause of death was recorded as multiple body trauma. She was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but South Carolina law does not require use of head protection when riding a motorcycle. That means, among things, that an insurance company cannot automatically deny a wrongful death claim filed by the victim's family just because the woman on the motorcycle did not wear a helmet.
Much more important will be evidence that the SUV driver made an unsafe lane change, failed to slow down for and yield right of way to a turning vehicle, and committed a hit-and-run violation. While the at-fault driver failed to flee successfully, his attempt to elude responsibility while leaving a woman critically injured makes him criminally culpable and, likely, civilly liable.