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Florida Motorcyclist Killed in Collision With Dump Truck

It was Friday morning when a Fort Lauderdale man got the call of a crash in Davie on South State Road 7. Nothing especially unusual about that. As a tow truck driver, he was used to being called to crash scenes to haul off damaged vehicles so regular traffic patterns could resume.

But while he was on his way there, his supervisor called him. Don’t go to this one. Turn around and head home.

As it turned out, the crash involved his younger brother, also a tow truck driver and father of a 12-year-old boy. He had been riding on his stepfather’s Suzuki on his way into work when he collided with a dump truck.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. His brother went home. His mother arrived to talk to investigators. She said when she’d heard there was a motorcycle crash near her son’s place of employment and he didn’t pick up the phone, “I just knew it was him.”

As she and her husband made their way to the scene through a backup of traffic, a decal on the rear of the truck issued a warning: “Watch out for Motorcyclists.” When they arrived, they saw that the motorcycle had been split in half on impact.

Police say the initial investigation doesn’t appear to show wrongdoing by either vehicle operator. Neither one was faulted, though the investigation is still ongoing.

One interesting point, however, is that the dump truck involved in the crash was “deadlined,” or pulled out-of-service by state troopers. A captain interviewed about the crash said the truck “already had problems before the crash,” and was now no longer safe for public roads. The reporter did not expand on this point, so it’s not clear what those “problems” were, or whether they played a role in the crash.

If they did, it may be possible for decedent’s loved ones to recover monetary damages from the truck company, the owner of the truck or the manufacturer of the truck. It will depend on whether there was some inherent defect or flaw with the vehicle design, or whether the issue had more to do with negligent maintenance and repair.

The towing company boss of decedent described him as both a good driver and a good person. He had expressed concern about him driving a motorcycle.

He was right to do so, considering that Florida is the most dangerous places for motorcyclists.

Data released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that in 2012, there were nearly 4,700 motorcyclists killed in the U.S. nationally. In addition, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured that year.

Florida accounted for 467 of those killed. That was higher than any other state – including Texas, with 457 motorcyclist deaths and 435 for California. Both of those states have populations far in excess of our own.

Part of the reason it’s so high is that Florida is known as a destination for motorcycle riders, with events like Bike Week in Daytona drawing tens of thousands of cyclists from across the country. Another issue is that Florida does not require riders to wear helmets. That doesn’t increase the risk of a crash, but it increases the severity of injuries or risk of death following a collision.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.

Additional Resources:

Motorcyclist, 37, dies in Davie Crash, Sept. 18, 2015, By Linda Trischitta, South Florida Sun Sentinel

More Blog Entries:

Report: Bicycle Accidents in Orlando, Nation, On the Rise, Sept. 11, 2015, Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog

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