Requiescant in pace – September 2010

I subscribed to Google news with certain key words, like “Harley-Davidson” and “Road King”, and first I was quite shocked to get on a daily basis email notifications of a fellow Harley driver who died in a accident. These news alerts are mainly limited to events in the US. I think that in some cases one can learn from these tragic events, and here the latest reports mentioning the fellow divers and passengers killed while doing what they most enjoyed.

Please drive safely and wear a helmet!


3.9. A 50-year-old Melbourne woman died Thursday morning after she tried to change lanes on her Harley-Davidson and collided with another motorcycle on U.S. 1 in Grant-Valkaria. After 10 a.m. on northbound U.S. 1 near First Street, Mary Christiansen was riding her 2005 Harley behind another motorcyclist, 53-year-old Richard Diaz of Melbourne. “Both vehicles attempted to change lanes at the same time,” said Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol. Christiansen’s motorcycle struck the rear of Diaz’s 2004 Victory. She lost control, dumping the motorcycle. Christiansen, who was not wearing a helmet, was ejected and suffered a head injury.

3.9. A 14-year-old girl riding on the back of a motorcycle was killed Thursday when her father lost control on a curve in Harford County and crashed into a van. Lauryn Marie Little and her father, Brian Ross Little, 42, were thrown from his Harley-Davidson after it rammed into the rear of a van at an intersection in Darlington shortly before 5 p.m. The girl was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where she was pronounced dead. The family lives in Whiteford, a few miles from the scene of the crash.

5.9. A motorcycle and SUV collided in Greensboro leaving one man dead and a second person in critical condition. The crash happened just at 6:05 Friday night on Tower Road. A Harley Davidson being driven by Robert Previtte, Jr. crashed into a Toyota 4-Runner as it attempted to turn left into an apartment complex. Previtte was transported to Moses Cone where he died, the passenger on the motorcycle, Debra Smith, was hospitalized with critical injuries.

5.9. A 49-year-old man on a motorcycle died in west Houston Saturday night after the bike crashed into a barrier, ejecting him, police said. Bret Muller was driving westbound on the Katy Freeway at the Shepherd exit around 9 p.m. when he lost control of his black Harley Davidson, which then struck the concrete barrier. Muller was thrown from the bike, landing on the exit ramp. He was transported to Ben Taub General Hospital, where he died.

10.9. A motorcyclist died after he tried to change lanes and collided with a sports utility vehicle on Interstate 45 Thursday night. The crash occurred in the 12800 block of the Gulf Freeway near the Sam Houston Parkway about 9:15 p.m., police said. Police said the man, whose name has not been released because his next of kin had been notified by early this morning, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the man was riding a 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle south bound on the freeway when he apparently slowed slightly and attempted to change lanes. That’s when a Lexus SUV, also traveling southbound, collided with the motorcycle.

10.9. A Kennewick man was killed in a motorcycle crash just south of Burbank. Bart Lee Auckland, 50, was riding a 2005 Harley-Davidson Road King on Monument Drive when he apparently drifted into gravel on the side of the road, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin reported. The road was dry and clear, said Walla Walla sheriff’s Deputy Kent Boyd. The crash occurred just before 1:30 p.m. Monday. “He was possibly an inexperienced rider. He had just bought the bike a couple of days before,” Boyd told the newspaper. After losing control, Auckland went down an embankment and suffered head and chest injuries, said Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel. Auckland was pronounced dead at Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco. The man was traveling with a partner, who apparently did not realize the accident had happened behind him, officials said. Auckland was a Teamster truck driver for Mission Support Alliance and the Department of Energy.

10.9. A Wetumpka man was killed Thursday night in a single-vehicle accident in Elmore County. Joseph Eugene Burton, 49, was killed when he lost control of the 2004 Harley-Davidson motorcycle he was riding on Alabama 111, according to a news release from the Alabama Department of Public Safety. Burton was wearing a motorcycle helmet, the release states. The crash occurred two miles north of Wetumpka about 11:05 p.m.

11.9. Traffic units responded to Day Street and Birmingham Highway on a report of a motorcycle accident with serious injuries. Upon arrival, it was determined that there had been an accident involving a 1995 Harley Davidson motorcycle and a 2000 Jeep Cherokee on Day Street between Birmingham Highway and Airbase Boulevard. The driver of the motorcycle, Robert Donald Harp, 58 years of age from Prattville, had suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to Baptist South Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:08 a.m. this morning. The investigation showed that Mr. Harp was headed eastbound on Day Street when he veered into the westbound lanes and collided with the driver of the Jeep Cherokee. It is unknown why Mr. Harp veered into oncoming traffic. The driver of the Jeep Cherokee was not injured and no charges against him are pending at this time. Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in this traffic fatality.

13.9. A 42-year-old Gaston County woman riding on the back of a 2007 Harley-Davidson died Sunday night after the motorcycle struck an oncoming sport utility vehicle head-on in a curve. The wreck occurred at 9:08 p.m. on Tryon Courthouse Road, north of Dameron Road and about three-tenths of a mile northwest of Bessemer City. Leslie Deason of Bessemer City was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the motorcycle, 47-year-old Robert Lyons Jr. of Lugoff, S.C., was traveling north when he crossed the centerline in a curve. The motorcyclist struck a 2004 Isuzu driven by Toni Blevins, 61, of Bessemer City. Blevins remained in her lane and was not at fault in the wreck. Lyons admitted “to having a couple drinks of alcohol 45 minutes before collision,” according to a warrant affidavit signed by Highway Patrol Trooper J.B. Thornburg.

13.9. A Stoystown man died Saturday in a one vehicle motorcycle crash in Quemahoning Township. Gary Gaydis, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene, Somerset County Coroner Wallace Miller said. Gaydis was traveling east on state Route 30 when he lost control of his 2006 Harley-Davidson Road King and slammed into a tree, state police in Somerset said. The crash happened at 8 p.m. about one mile east of Slagle Hill Road.

14.9. A Concord motorcyclist has died from injuries he suffered in a crash on Highway 4 this morning, authorities said. The accident was reported about 7:50 a.m. in the eastbound lanes near Morello Avenue. Robert Brooks, 38, was riding a Harley-Davidson in the far left lane about 70 mph when he came upon heavy traffic, said Officer Tom Maguire. “The (rider) doesn’t notice until too late, and hits his brakes too late,” Maguire said. He laid the motorcycle down on its right side in an attempt to stop quickly but crashed into the back of a Ford Expedition driven by a 50-year-old Pittsburg man, Maguire said. Brooks, who was wearing a helmet, was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he was pronounced dead.

16.9. A 31-year-old motorcyclist was killed early Thursday when his motorcycle veered off a road and struck a large boulder, according to Las Vegas Metro police. The accident happened on Buffalo Drive near Peacock Avenue on the city’s west side. Police did not say whether the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet when his Harley Davidson motorcycle veered toward a curb, went onto a sidewalk and hit the boulder. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

18.9. A motorcyclist was killed Friday night when he crashed in Lyndeborough. New Hampshire State Police said that David Doyle, 71, of Milford, lost control of his Harley Davidson motorcycle on Center Road in Lyndeborough shortly after 8 p.m. Friday. The motorcycle flipped and Doyle died at the scene from his injuries, police said. Investigators said that Doyle was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

19.9.Maryland State Police are investigating a two vehicle crash that killed a motorcycle driver. Police say the crash happened shortly after 6:00 p.m., Saturday, on I-95 Northbound at the 88.2 mile marker. The preliminary investigation has revealed that the a 2007 Harley Davidson was traveling northbound on I-95, and was using all lanes of travel while making numerous lane changes. While attempting to changes lanes, the motorcycle struck the rear of a Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck. The operator of the motorcycle lost control when it entered the right shoulder and ejected the driver. The motorcycle came to rest in the wooded area. Maryland State Police have identified the victim of the fatal motorcycle crash in Harford County by using his fingerprints. 50-year-old Keith Michael Collins was identified by police after he was found without a driver’s license.

19.9. The Lexington County Coroner says a man died after falling off his motorcycle Sunday morning. 35-year-old Jonathan Sturkie lost control of his Harley Davidson and fell off Friday night on Highway 302 near South Congaree. Sturkie died Sunday at the hospital from head and body trauma.

20.9. A Muskogee man’s body was found Sunday after a Saturday motorcycle wreck killed the man in Cherokee County. Donald Salzwedel, 62, was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:45 p.m. Sunday, according to Oklahoma Highway Patrol reports. Sometime on Saturday, Salzwedel left the roadway while heading southbound on Oklahoma 80 about eight miles south of Hulbert. Salzwedel’s 2006 Harley Davidson failed to negotiate a curve in the road and ran off the right side, striking a guardrail. The motorcycle slid into a ditch and struck a group of small trees, throwing Salzwedel about 10 feet from the motorcycle, troopers report.

20.9. A man died when he lost control of his motorcycle and slammed into a curb on the service road of Interstate 45 in southeast Houston early this morning. The single-vehicle crash occurred in the 10900 block of the south bound Gulf Freeway near Ledge about 12:15 a.m., police said. Police said the man, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the man was riding alone on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle southbound on the freeway service road when the cycle hit the curb. Witnesses told investigators the motorcyclist had been weaving moments before the crash. Police said he was not wearing a helmet.

22.9. Although no charges have been filed, Metro Police say a truck driver’s failure to yield caused the accident that killed a man Tuesday in front of the Pilot Travel Center at 6418 Centennial Blvd. Kenneth Everett, 46, of Murfreesboro, was riding his 2006 Harley-Davidson motorcycle west on Centennial Boulevard when he hit a tractor-trailer driven by Timothy Owen, 44, of Eddyville, Ky. Owen was driving east when he turned left into the Pilot Travel Center at 7 a.m., resulting in the crash. He told investigators that he didn’t see the motorcycle when he began the turn. Everett was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died.

22.9. According to a report from the Ohio Highway Patrol, David E. Morris, 44, of Massillon was killed when the 2008 Harley-Davidson motorcycle he was driving collided with a 1991 International dump truck on Route 153 at Beck Avenue, just west of Louisville. According to the report, the dump truck, driven by James E. Maurer, 64, of Louisville, pulled on to Route 153 from Beck Avenue, failing to yield the right-of-way to Morris’ motorcycle and causing the motorcycle to strike the side of the dump truck. Morris was transported to Aultman Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Morris was not wearing a helmet.

23.9. A man who died after he was ejected from his motorcycle Tuesday in a collision with a vehicle has been identified as Stephen Allen Wimmer, 50. The California Highway Patrol said the Orland man was riding a Harley Davidson west on County Road 7 near County Road HH, west of Orland, when a woman driving a 2004 Toyota started to make a left turn in front of him. The Toyota reportedly crossed into the westbound lane and collided with the motorcycle, ejecting Wimmer and causing major injuries. The rider was rushed to Enloe Medical Center in Chico, where a trauma team had assembled. Wimmer was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. The woman in the Toyota, identified as Ella Arbuckle, 61, of Orland, wasn’t injured.

23.9. 60-year-old Henry Messer, of Winchester, Indiana, was a passenger riding on a Harley Davidson Golf Cart. He was ejected from the cart. Messer was transported to the Bowling Green Medical Center for head trauma, where he was pronounced dead. Messer was standing on the back of a golf cart and holding onto the roof as it traveled down a hill, state police reported. He fell off the cart when it made a left turn in the campground. Police say alcohol was involved in Messer’s accident and also was involved when Edie Phillips, 47, of Portland, Tenn., was thrown from a golf cart that made a left turn at the same campground on Tuesday. She had been sitting on a rear fender. She, too, was killed.

24.9. A Berea man died Thursday after his motorcycle collided with a pickup on a Madison County road, Kentucky State Police said. James C. Hudson, 68, was riding a 2008 Harley-Davidson south on U.S. 25 about 2 p.m. when the Harley struck a 1998 Dodge truck driven by Jesse Brook, 31, of Annville. Brook was trying to turn left across the southbound lane on U.S. 25 into a parking lot. The truck entered the path of the motorcycle as it turned.

25.9. A Franklin County man died Friday afternoon after he lost control of his motorcycle and overturned 50 miles outside of St. Louis. Danny R. Cartwright, 48, of St. Clair, Mo., was riding his 2005 Harley-Davidson Softtail on Gravois Road, just east of Bethel Church Road, at around 3 p.m. when he passed another vehicle on a curve, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Cartwright’s motorcycle traveled off the right side of the road, then back on before overturning. A St. Clair ambulance took him to St. John’s Mercy Hospital in Washington, Mo., according to the highway patrol.

25.9. A Cato man died early today after he crashed his motorcycle in the town of Van Buren, state police said. Patrick H. White, 38, of 11421 Calkins Road, was riding his 1990 Harley-Davidson motorcycle about 12:40 a.m. west on Old Route 31 when he lost control near the intersection with Kingdom Road, troopers said. The motorcycle overturned, slid across Kingdom Road and then struck a ditch, sending White off the motorcycle, troopers said. White was discovered by a passing motorist about 20 minutes after the crash, troopers said. White was taken by ambulance to Upstate University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:25 a.m.

25.9. A Floresville man was killed in a Medina County crash Friday night when his motorcycle collided head-on with a truck, authorities said. Johnny Martinez Hoyos, 51, was riding his Harley-Davidson south on Texas 16 around 8:20 p.m. when he tried to pass another vehicle and collided with the truck, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety said. Hoyos, who was not wearing a helmet, was declared dead at the scene, about 11 miles north of Helotes.

25.9. A 37-year-old man was killed when the motorcycle he was operating struck a utility pole in the area of North Main and Haskell streets early Saturday. Police said John K. Correia, 37, of Cory Street, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 1:45 a.m. crash. Police spokesman Lt. Robert Flynn said that it appeared the 1993 Harley Davidson motorcycle veered off the road to the right, hit the pole and crashed into a grassy embankment. Flynn said that as a result of the impact with the pole, the victim was thrown against a parked motor vehicle and came to rest in a driveway on North Main Street.

26.9. A female motorcyclist was killed in the early afternoon Saturday in South Austin after a collision with an SUV in which the driver failed to yield, according to police. A blue Scion SUV was traveling westbound on Valley View Road and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle was traveling northbound on Manchaca Road about 12:45 p.m. when the wreck took place. The driver of the Scion failed to yield the right of way from a stop sign and attempted to turn left onto Manchaca Road, according to police. The Scion pulled in front of the motorcycle, which then T-boned the Scion. The three occupants of the Scion were not injured. The driver of the motorcycle was transported to University Medical Center Brackenridge by Austin Travis County EMS with life-threatening injuries. She was pronounced dead at the hospital two hours later.

26.9. A Saturday morning motorcycle accident claims the life of the driver and leaves the passenger with serious injuries. According to LaGrange Police, 27-year-old Christopher Monk lost control of the 2007 Harley Davidson Motorcycle he was driving. Police say the vehicle hit a utility pole at the intersection of West Lukken Industrial Drive and Gordon Commercial Drive. Monk and his passenger, 26-year-old Keli Dalton were thrown from the motorcycle. Police say Dalton suffered serious injuries to her lower body and was airlifted to Columbus Regional Medical Center. She is listed in critical condition. Monk was pronounced dead at the scene.

27.9. A Grapevine man was killed Sunday night after he lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a fence around a construction site, police said. The 36-year-old man, who was not identified, was heading south on South Main Street around 11:30 p.m. when he accelerated and crashed his 2008 Harley-Davidson motorcycle into a street lamp near College Street. He continued down the street and hit the fence. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

27.9. A Sellersville man was killed when the motorcycle he was riding struck a pickup truck head-on Saturday around 7:50 p.m. According to state police, William L. Stackhouse, 48, was driving his 2007 Harley-Davidson west on East Park Avenue and was unable to negotiate a curve in the road. He crossed over into the oncoming lane of traffic and hit the front left fender of a 2004 Dodge Ram driven by Alexander John Dowd, 23, of Media. Stackhouse, who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, was pronounced dead at the scene.

27.9. A motorcyclist who was trying to navigate a series of S-turns on Route 153 and lost control of the 1987 Harley Davidson motorcycle he was riding was pronounced dead shortly before noon Monday, Sept. 27. According to police reports, James Taranovich, 59, of Proctor, was traveling south on Route 153, Sunday, Sept. 26, around 4:30 p.m., when he went off the road and landed face down in a roadside swamp, trapped underneath his motorcycle.

28.9. An Aromas man died Monday afternoon when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a car on Carlton Road east of Watsonville. Maria Villegas de Muñoz, 51, the driver of the Toyota that collided with him, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the influence. The 49-year-old motorcyclist, who had a 15-year-old male passenger aboard, was riding a 2000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle southbound on Carlton Road, just south of Thompson Road, at 6:10 p.m. Muñoz a Freedom resident, was reportedly driving a 1992 Toyota Camry when she approached the motorcyclist northbound on Carlton and collided head-on with the Harley-Davidson, heaving the rider over his handlebars and into the windshield of the Toyota before being pitched to the north shoulder of the road. The 15-year-old passenger was also thrown to the north shoulder. The motorcycle rider, whose identity has not been released pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead at the scene on the 500 block of Carlton between Thompson and Coward roads. The 15-year-old boy suffered major injuries.

30.9. The 51-year-old man, from Sheffield, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash at Hemsworth Road, Norton. Police said at 2225 BST on Wednesday a black Mercedes Kompressor overtook a blue Nissan Micra on Hemsworth Road and collided with the Harley Davidson bike. The 35-year-old male driver of the Mercedes, also from Sheffield, was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and causing death by dangerous driving. The 29-year-old woman driving the Micra, also from Sheffield, was not thought to have been injured. (BBC news South Yorkshire, UK)

I hope this list of fatal accidents for September 2010 is complete, but I fear it may not be. In the US alone, a average of 14 motorcycle drivers die every day. If you know of other tragedies involving drivers of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, please feel free to add them in their memories in the comment fields.

In the meantime, keep your distance, maintain a safe speed, and ride defensively. Have a safe journey.


2 Responses to “Requiescant in pace – September 2010”

  1. Pepper, I hope this knowledge does not stop you or anybody else from driving a motorcycle, but makes you more aware of the dangers, thus drive more defensively and safely. Some accidents, even if not legally the motorcyclist fault, could be avoided by just realizing how stupid others can be. And then 3 more things: wear a helmet, do not drink, and never ride faster then your angel can fly. Have a safe ride.

  2. Ohh man I never realise how often motocyclists die in accidents until I read stuff like this.
    Sleep easy guys :/

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