Police officer's leg severed in motorcycle accident

Police officer's leg severed in motorcycle accident

Motorcyclists face a wide range of hazards on the road. Other drivers are among the biggest dangers. Drivers may be distracted. They may be intoxicated. For a variety of reasons, they may not see the motorcycles they share the road with. The result can be serious motorcycle accidents.

In one recent accident, a police officer's leg was partially amputated after an accident with an inexperienced driver. The officer was riding his motorcycle while off-duty. The driver, a 17-year-old with a permit, had her mother in the car with her. The girl turned left abruptly in front of the officer, cutting into the officer's driving path. In the crash that resulted, he was thrown onto her windshield.

The officer's left arm was broken and his left leg was severed below the knee. The officer had also had internal injuries. A witness initially thought the accident was fatal because the scene was so horrific. The officer was airlifted to the hospital, where he was stable enough after a day that a picture of him surfaced on Facebook, smiling and posing with a therapy dog.

Injuries like these are not uncommon after motorcycle accidents. Because motorcyclists have fewer protections than drivers of larger vehicles, they are more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries such as broken bones, amputations, spinal cord injuries and head injuries in an accident.

California Highway Patrol statistics show that more than 400 people were killed and almost 12,000 others were injured in motorcycle accidents in 2011. That's a 20 percent increase from the year before.

Sources: CBS 8, "Off-duty SDPD officer recovering from motorcycle crash," Steve Price and Shannon Hardy, June 17, 2013; California Highway Patrol, "State Safety Agencies Stress "Sharing the Road" During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month," May 2013


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