Motorcyclists face a number of additional dangers on America's roadways. For one thing, it is more difficult to see motorcyclists than cars; their headlights are smaller and they fit more easily into a car's blind spot. Furthermore, when a crash does occur, the injuries are often much more damaging, as there is little to protect the motorcyclist from serious harm. Even leather clothing and a helmet can only do so much. All too often, a collision between a motorcyclist and a larger vehicle is fatal.
This is the case in a fatal accident in southern California, in which a collision between a motorcyclist and a tractor-trailer left one man dead and a young passenger grievously injured.
The man was a 56-year-old father. The passenger was his 12-year-old son. Details of the accident are still sketchy, but it appears that the truck struck the motorcycle as they were entering an intersection. The father was killed instantly, but the boy survived. He was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition. One family member said that he broke "almost every bone in his body," but he did not have brain damage or paralysis.
Police have pointed the finger of blame on the truck driver, though they have not stated what evidence they have to back up this claim. Often, such accidents are the result of drugs or alcohol, but the police have ruled those factors out in this case. Visibility is also unlikely to have played a role, as the crash occurred during daylight hours.
Likely, we will not know exactly what happened until the case is brought to trial. Police recently took the first step in that process by requesting that the local district attorney file vehicular manslaughter charges against the truck driver, suggesting that local authorities have compelling evidence that the truck driver was at-fault in the accident.
Source: 23 ABC, "Taft PD: Truck driver at fault in fatal crash near SR 33, Wood Street" No Author Given, Sep. 17, 2013