Articles Tagged with Atlanta Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Recent reports from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association contain troubling news for motorcycle riders. Unfortunately, the data shows a significant increase in deaths among motorcyclists in 2015. The increase was so substantial that GHSA is calling it a “surge” in the fatality rate.  As summer approaches and more motorcycle riders are out on the roads, everyone needs to be aware of this surge and try to prevent a similar rise in death rates in 2016.  atlanta motorcycle crashes

If a motorcycle accident does occur and the motorcyclist or any other party in the crash is killed, it is important for the family of the victim to consult with an Atlanta car accident lawyer.

An attorney can also help in the case of non-fatal injuries. A personal injury or wrongful death claim could potentially help victims and family members get compensation for losses they have experienced, if they can prove the other motorist was to blame for causing a motorcycle crash to occur.

Our Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers read about another fatal motorcycle accident that happened in Georgia recently. These fatalities are all too common, and often due to reckless driving behaviors, either by the motorcyclist or the driver of the other vehicle involved.

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Over the past weekend, on Saturday afternoon at 4:54 p.m., Forest Tecumseh Garret, a 21-year-old man from Clarksville, was driving his 2004 Yamaha YZF R6 motorcycle on Riverbend Road near Georgia Highway 105. He had Kelli Nicole Campbell, a 23-year-old also from Clarksville, as a passenger on his motorcycle. He tried to pass a 2008 Nissan Altima, even though he was in a no-passing zone, according to Trooper Casey Coffee of the Georgia State Patrol. The Altima, driven by Melissa Ann Wallace, a 28-year-old from Eastanollee, was trying to turn left into a driveway. As it turned, the Altima was hit on the driver’s side by the Yamaha motorcycle. The impact caused the motorcycle to overturn and run off the south side of Riverbend Road, running into bushes. Mr. Garret and Ms. Campbell were both thrown from the motorcycle. Mr. Garret was taken to Habersham Medical Center, but he died of his injuries from the crash and was pronounced dead on his arrival at the hospital. Ms. Campbell was seriously injured and airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center. The Altima also ran off the south side of the road, hitting a signpost and buses. But Ms. Wallace did not need medical treatment, according to Trooper Coffee.

Another young man, Michael Neil Young, a 23-year-old from Canton, died in a motorcycle accident last week as well. According to Gordy Wright, spokesperson for the Georgia State Patrol, Mr. Young was driving his 2006 Honda CBR motorcycle eastbound on Georgia 20. He ran off the road near Weeks Road and smashed into a tree and then into a building around 5:30 p.m. on a Sunday evening. Mr. Wright told reporters that alcohol was not suspected in the accident. Mr. Young died of his injuries from the crash.

Our Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers saw a recent story about a fatal motorcycle crash in Baldwin County. And that recent accident was not the only tragic motorcycle accident story in Georgia this past month.

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Last Sunday in the early morning, Ronald Wright was on his motorcycle travelling west on Meriweather Road, half a mile from Georgia Highway 441, in Baldwin County. Mr. Wright was going around a curve in the road and for an unknown reason crossed into the eastbound lane where he crashed into the passenger side bumper and fender of a Jeep. The motorcycle then went 24 feet off the road and Mr. Wright was thrown off and landed 41 feet away. His chest was crushed and the crash broke his neck, and he died on the scene from his injuries. His helmet was old and the chin strap broke during the accident, according to Georgia State Trooper Michael Screws. He also said there was a faint odor of alcohol on Mr. Wright, which was also noticed by a good Samaritan who stopped and performed CPR on Mr. Wright after the accident. Trooper Screws said results of a blood test for alcohol won’t be available for weeks, however. The Jeep had a driver and a passenger, as well.

Mr. Wright’s accident is unfortunately is not a unique occurrence. Motorcycles are more vulnerable and often crashes cause serious injuries or death, which is something to remember as the weather gets better and more motorcycles are on the road. Earlier this month, a three-vehicle crash in Douglas County killed a motorcyclist, as well. The motorcyclist was going north on Georgia 5 when it hit the rear end of a stopped 2005 Chevrolet Equinox. The motorcycle then swerved into the southbound lane and hit a 2003 Dodge Ram pickup truck head on. The motorcyclist died at the scene of injuries, while the other drivers of the Equinox and the pickup truck suffered no injuries.

Motorcycles and other smaller vehicles are always more vulnerable on the road than bigger, tougher vehicles.  Extra caution needs to be taken around these more vulnerable vehicles, but often that caution is not taken by drivers.  That was shown all too clearly when last month our Atlanta motorcycle accident attorneys saw a sad story of a local fire inspector’s death in a motorcycle crash.

Dan Harden was a 56 year old fire inspector with the Albany Fire Department when he was involved in a tragic crash in September.  He was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle to work on Pinewood Road in Lee County.  It was about seven in the morning.  A Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Karis Stubbs, turned in front of him and into his path.  The Harley hit the back of the Tahoe and Harden ended up being thrown into the road.  He was then in the path of another SUV, driven by Kimberly Sebastian, although it was unclear if this other SUV hit him.  Mr. Harden died of his injuries at the scene of the accident.

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No charges were filed in Mr. Harden’s death, but the Georgia State Patrol is still investigating the crash.

Our Atlanta motorcycle accident attorneys know that summer can be an especially dangerous time on the roads, as people are driving to and from vacations and to beaches and amusement parks and other summer activities.  The hot weather also means it is an attractive time of the year to ride a motorcycle if you have one.  But, as always, motorcycles can be dangerous and other cars on the road need to be especially watchful if there are motorcycles around.

Just last week, a news article  emerged about a 50 year old Cumming man, Joe Edward Vaughn, who was killed when his motorcycle crashed into a car.  Mr. Vaughn was an area native – he graduated from Forsyth County High School and worked for Stewart Brothers for 33 years.  Last Friday evening, Vaughn was driving his Harley Davidson northbound on South Old Peachtree Road.  Soo Wan Kim, a 26 year old from Norcross, was driving his 2003 Toyota MR2 Spyder and turned left onto the road in front of Mr. Vaughn’s Harley.  The Harley slammed into the side of the Spyder and Vaughn died from the injuries.  Kim also was injured, but only on the right side of his body and not fatally.   Georgia police are continuing to investigate the accident, but Kim has already been charged with second degree vehicular homicide and failure to yield and has been released from jail on bond, according to the Gwinnett County police department.

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Mr. Vaughn’s tragic death is hardly the only motorcycle accident fatality in Georgia recently, either.  Also last week, in Forsyth County, 19 year old Cameron James Fullerton was killed in an accident with a pickup truck.  Fullerton was on his Yamaha motorcycle while a Ford F250 driven by Jonathan Troy Sorrells was driving in the opposite direction last Friday.  Similar to Mr. Vaughn’s accident, the truck was making a turn when the crash occurred.  Fullerton tried to swerve to avoid the truck, but ended up hitting the front driver’s side of the truck, the impact of which threw him from the motorcycle.  Fullerton died of his injuries at the scene.  Sorrells wasn’t injured at all, and was also arrested.  He was charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and failure to yield.  And earlier last week, in the same county, a 21 year old woman was killed in an accident between a car and her motor scooter.  Kristi Sue Baiel’s fatal accident is still being investigated as well.

Teens and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is an incredibly dangerous combination. Our Atlanta vehicle accident attorneys  know that inexperienced teenage drivers and drunk drivers, separately, both constitute dangers on highway but are also all too often combined.

Usually most people think of drunk driving accidents as involving cars, and that is most often the case. But there was a news story this week about a teen involved in a DUI while driving a motorcycle. Claire Bruce Thomas, a 17-year-old from Canton was driving southbound on Lower Bethany Road near Hornage Road in Cherokee County last Friday evening at around 8:30 or 9 pm when he swerved into oncoming traffic as he tried to round a curve in the road. Thomas hit a Chrysler Town & Country on the front driver’s side, driven by a 68-year-old woman from Ball Ground, injuring the driver but not severely enough that she had to go to the hospital by ambulance. She was treated at North Cherokee. Thomas himself had to be airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center hospital. And Georgia State Patrol allege that Thomas was under the influence when the accident occurred. He has been charged with DUI, failure to maintain lane, driving too fast for conditions, and driving in violation of license restrictions.

The National Highway and Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that for 2008, the most recent year with data, the highest percentage of driver fatalities when the blood alcohol level was above the legal limit was for motorcycle riders. Motorcycles already have higher fatality rates than cars and other vehicles, so it makes sense that DUI fatalities are also the highest. In Georgia, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety showed that 28 percent of Georgia accidents were alcohol related. At the same time, young drivers (those under the age of 20) accounted for 8.5 percent of Georgia drivers, but 12.8 percent of those involved in road accidents in Georgia. These statistics show the deadly combination of factors that happened with 17-year-old Mr. Thomas, who is lucky that there were no fatalities, including his own, in the accident he caused with his impaired driving. Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the US. The CDC states that in the country, seven teenagers die each day this way, which is about 2,700 teens per year.  And another 282,000 teenagers are treated for injuries related to vehicle accidents. The problem of teenage drunk driving needs to continue to be addressed and those responsible held accountable if these statistics are to improve.