The open-air feel of motorcycles is what draws people to them, but it's also what makes them so dangerous. A motorcycle helmet, goggles, and protective riding gear may help prevent injuries in minor accidents, but they can't offer the protection needed when a disaster occurs. No matter how cautious a rider is, his fate is often in the hands of other motorists and the decisions they make.
On Oct. 12, 2013, two hunters and an accompanying minor were attempting to drag an elk carcass across a hillside and over Colorado Highway 92 by using a chain and rope they had attached to their pickup truck. As the sun started to set and visibility faded, the group was at a point where the rope and chain were stretched across both lanes of the road.
The hunters noticed a motorcycle traveling down the highway, and the older man allegedly began waving his arms in an attempt to get the rider's attention. The motorcycle did not stop and instead drove right into the rope and chain, which made contact with him in the chest and the helmet. The 34-year-old motorcyclist's spinal cord was severed as a result of the crash.
Witnesses who arrived at the scene after the crash report that both men appeared to be more concerned with loading the elk's carcass on their truck than on the victim, and they left before any first responders arrived. They returned, claiming to have tried to get help by calling 911, but phone records show that no such call was made. The hunters were both ultimately charged with manslaughter, vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and criminally negligent homicide. A grand jury returned an indictment in April 2014.
No amount of money will bring this young man back. The family of the man who died as result of the hunters' reckless behavior may ultimately decide to pursue a civil suit against the two men so that they are compensated for their loss. Those who are injured or the family members of those who are killed because of someone else's negligent or reckless behavior have a right to do the same thing. A civil suit may provide compensation, as well as sending a message that motorists must keep the safety of others on the road top of mind.
Source: The Daily Sentinel, "Hunters indicted in grisly death of motorcyclist" Duffy Hayes, Apr. 18, 2014