What began as an 11-day motorcycle tour through Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico ended in death for a Tucson couple on June 20, 2013. Bill and Diane Mitchell, both 64, were struck and killed in Wayne County, Utah by a teenage driver.
The freedom offered by riding a motorcycle comes at the expense of an automobile’s protective metal cab in the event of a collision. Statistics reveal the risks faced by bikers and their passengers:
- According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, motorcycle riders are 37 times more likely to be fatally injured in a vehicle accident and nine times more likely to suffer a serious injury.
- In Arizona alone, the Department of Public Safety reports 3,000 motorcycle crashes in 2012 that injured 2,717 people and killed 317.
- A rise in motorcycle registrations has also seen a rise in motorcycle fatalities in our state.
Riding with a group of three other motorcycles at about 8:30 a.m., the Mitchells steered away from the Jeep driven by 17-year-old Tanner Giles of Loa when he lost control of the vehicle and crossed the centerline into the westbound lane of Utah State Route 24.
Initially striking another motorcyclist, the vehicle driven by Mr. Giles then ran over the Victory motorcycle ridden by Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, killing them and causing a fuel tank to explode and engulf their motorcycle and the Jeep in flames. Mr. Giles suffered an injury that was not life-threatening.
Too often considered the cause of their own problems, motorcyclists have equal rights to share the road without fearing the reckless or distracted driving habits of motorists. If you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, speak with an attorney at our firm for experienced advice on compensation for your loss caused by the negligence of others.