Youth Sports Coach Riding Motorcycle Dies in Crash Caused By Elderly Driver

Motorcyclist holding helmet with his motorcycle in the background

Posted on November 18, 2021

A 38-year old local youth football coach was riding his three wheeled Can-Am Spyder west on busy Baymeadows road in Jacksonville, when a van driven by a 73-year old man suddenly veered straight into his path. Trying to avoid the collision, the young man swerved his three-wheeler but left the road, overturned, and struck a tree according to the Florida Highway Patrol. He would be hospitalized but later died due to the extent of his injuries. This tragic loss of life for a beloved pillar of the community highlights the dangers for motorcyclists on Florida roads.


In today’s spotlight, we’ll look at the statistics behind motorcycle crashes in Florida and see why motorcycle accidents can be so severe. We’ll also hear from top Farah and Farah attorneys who specialize in helping motorcycle accident victims receive fair compensation for everything they’ve been through. 


Did Unsafe Driving Lead to the Life-Ending Crash?

Baymeadows Road is an extremely busy thoroughfare on Jacksonville’s southside. Running east to west, the artery connects the St. Johns Town Center and Gate Parkway area all the way to San Marco and Mandarin. Baymeadows Circle East, where the crash occurred, is an intersection where hundreds of office complexes pour out onto Baymeadows Road, near I-95. 


The Can-Am Spyder is larger and heavier than a typical two-wheel motorcycle, making it more visible on the roadway. The three-wheel design is also designed to be far more stable than a two wheel bike and loaded with advanced safety features like ABS anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control, according to Can-Am’s product page


Whenever our attorneys look at a crash like this, we’ll often use crash reconstruction experts in order to understand exactly what led up to the accident. In this case, witnesses could easily point out the moment when a 73-year old driving a Nissan Quest, the largest minivan on the market per Edmunds, turned right in front of the victim. 


Despite the advanced safety features on the Can-Am, the victim had little time to react to such a large vehicle in his path and swerved to avoid a collision. This abrupt swerving would cause him to lose control, launch off the roadway, and strike a tree. The victim’s bike overturned in the process, which led to massive injuries to the rider that would end in his death.


What Happens When a Motorcycle Hits a Stationary Object

When a motorcycle or three-wheeler is involved in a crash, the damage can be severe, and in many cases, deadly. That’s because the force of the impact is transmitted entirely to the driver which often hurls them onto the roadway, into other vehicles, or into a stationary object. Baymeadows road has a posted speed limit of 45mph at the intersection where this accident occurred. The real killer in a crash is the force applied to the body as it rapidly decelerates. In order to figure out the amount of force involved in this crash, you multiply the total mass of the rider and his three-wheeler by the rate of deceleration. 


If the victim was driving at 45mph when he swerved to avoid the van, his rate of deceleration of more than 4,000 meters per second would have created massive G-forces that can easily cause catastrophic injuries and death. In a model created by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State University, a 30 mile per hour crash exerts some 12 tons of force on a driver without a seatbelt!


Was Age a Factor in this Crash?

In 2018, almost 8,000 drivers over the age of 65 were killed in traffic accidents and a quarter of a million were treated in the ER after a crash. However, the statistics aren’t so straightforward when determining if age was the driving factor. Drivers aged 16-17 cause the most accidents by far while those aged 60-69 actually have the fewest. There’s a large uptick for drivers aged 70-79 and drivers aged 80+ have higher crash incident rates than all drivers aged 30-79. 


The Transportation Research Board in Washington speculates that age-related issues in vision, the ability to reason and remember, and other physical impairments might be the cause behind the higher number of crashes for older drivers. While the causes of the crash that killed the motorcyclist on Baymeadows are still under investigation, the age of the driver who caused the accident will most likely be a factor. Other conditions our team looks for include the design of the roadway, traffic operations, weather conditions, and a host of other variables that can lead to a crash.


Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Our Top Attorneys Outline What’s Next 

Farah and Farah motorcycle accident attorney, Scott Burleigh, highlights that the cost of the motorcycle repairs is only one aspect of the total compensation due to the victim. There’s medical bills, hospital stays, the loss of use of the specialized bike, and even something called loss of consortium. Consortium is a human cost related to the loss of a family member. It’s a wife spending her days without her husband, kids growing up without their dad, and in the eyes of the law, something victims have every right to seek after an accident. 

At Farah and Farah, we make sure the insurance companies can’t ignore these very real human costs and fight for every cent available under the law to bring the family some degree of peace. If you or a loved one has ever been hurt riding your motorcycle, you can talk to a motorcycle accident attorney like Scott now for free. The initial consultation is just a quick conversation to cover all your options and what the way forward looks like.

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