Two Serious Motorcycle Accidents in South Carolina Within the Last Week
In yesterday’s Post and Courier, your Charleston personal injury attorneys came across a report detailing a tractor-trailer accident in North Charleston that killed a motorcyclist, and resulted in the arrest of the truck driver for reckless homicide. Police say the 47-year-old truck driver pulled out in front of the motorcyclist on Remount Road west of Virginia Avenue. The fatal accident was reported at about 7:30 a.m. Monday morning.
After the collision the 44-year-old motorcyclist was taken to Medical University Hospital in critical condition, but according to the Charleston County Deputy Coroner, the 44-year-old died at the hospital from the serious injuries sustained in the accident. According to reports, the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.
Under the South Carolina Code of Laws, if a driver “does any act forbidden by law in the driving of a motor vehicle, which proximately causes the death of another person,” then that driver is “guilty of the misdemeanor offense of vehicular homicide.” The truck driver in the accident appeared in bond court yesterday and his bond was set at $50,000 by a Charleston County magistrate. If convicted the truck driver faces a fine of up to $5,000, a 10-year prison sentence, and a five-year suspension of his driver’s license.
This is the second instance of a motorcyclist being cut off by another driver in the last week. On Saturday April 7, 2012, around 9:15 p.m. a man riding a green Kawasaki motorcycle was struck by Honda sedan on S.C. 81 South near Greenville. According to reports, the collision caused the motorcyclist to be thrown from his bike and into the roadway. Despite wearing a helmet the motorcyclist suffered serious head injuries that required him to flown to Greenville Memorial Hospital, and undergo brain surgery Sunday morning. It was reported he was still in the neurointensive care unit Sunday afternoon.
Both of these serious motorcycle accidents bring attention to the importance of yielding to the right of way and taking the time to check that a roadway or state highway is completely clear of other vehicles, including the sometimes hard to spot motorcycle. Being cautious and taking the extra few seconds to ensure your path is clear of other drivers can be the difference in preventing a car accident, as well as serious injuries and death.
Another issue raised by the unfortunate circumstances above is the fact that here in South Carolina, we do not have a law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. Although both of the riders mentioned chose to wear helmets, many do motorcyclists do not, which may seem ridiculous and unsafe, but many motorcycle riders and enthusiasts feel a helmet law would take from their personal freedom. With that being said, it is important to note that unlike some other the other states without a helmet law, the Palmetto State does require motorcyclists and passengers on a motorcycle under the age of 21 to wear a helmet.