An Oregon motorcycle crash that also involved a pickup truck left a Monmouth man dead over the weekend, according to a report in this morning’s Oregonian. The newspaper reports that the man “died Sunday morning in a collision between a pickup truck and a motorcycle on Oregon 51 north of Independence.”
The victim, age 22 according to the newspaper, “struck the right front side of the truck and crashed through (its) windshield” when the driver of the truck, a 77-year-old man, “attempted to turn his truck left into a driveway.” The paper also reports that witnesses say neither the motorcycle nor the truck appeared to be speeding at the time of the Oregon motorcycle accident. Although an investigation of the fatal crash is still underway, the newspaper cites police sources saying they believe alcohol was not involved in the Sunday morning accident. Both men were airlifted to Salem Memorial Hospital, according to The Oregonian, where the motorcycle rider was pronounced dead and the driver of the truck remains in critical condition.
Based on these details, what we appear to see here is a straightforward case of poor driving, the sort of accident that happens every day in every American city, and which is all the more tragic because it is so easily avoidable.
Anyone operating a vehicle has a responsibility to follow the traffic laws and to be cautious and safe at all times. For drivers of cars and trucks that responsibility is particularly great where motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians are concerned. This weekend’s fatal Oregon motorcycle accident is a reminder of how vulnerable motorcycle riders are in any crash involving a car or truck, even one that takes place at a relatively slow speed in close to ideal driving conditions. It is worth adding that an otherwise legal left turn becomes illegal any time that making such a turn would be unsafe. This is an especially important fact for drivers to keep in mind because it requires both judgment and ongoing situational awareness on the part of the car or truck driver. It may seem obvious to say this, but the law requires a constant, reasonable level of attentiveness from anyone operating a motor vehicle.
As a Portland motorcycle injury lawyer cases like these are especially noteworthy because they are so easily preventable. We all learned as teenagers that left turns are one of the most dangerous maneuvers in driving and, as such, always require special caution. It is always unfortunate to be reminded of this in such a sad and abrupt way.