During the summer months is when we tend to see a greater frequency of car-motorcycle accidents here in Maryland. Of course, most every motorcycle rider knows that his or her chosen pastime can be fraught with risks, but when managed well those risks can be minimized, though not always eliminated. Much of what anybody on the road depends is the skills and alertness of other drivers; hopefully for most of us, motorists, truckers and bikers alike all do their part to be vigilant and safety conscious.
Unfortunately, as we all know too well, this is not always the case. As personal injury lawyers serving the residents of Maryland and Washington, D.C., I and my colleagues see our share of serious and sometimes fatal bike, auto and commercial truck wrecks in the news every week. Especially in the case of bikers, the stakes are high as far as bodily injury goes.
A motorcyclist who tangles with a larger motor vehicle such as an SUV, minivan or commercial delivery truck can receive any number of injuries ranging from lacerations and contusions to neck, back and closed-head trauma, otherwise known as traumatic brain injury. Recovery from the latter types of injuries can be a long and costly road for the victim as well as his or her family. In some cases, the individual may never be the same, having been permanently disabled due to another driver’s negligence.
A 55-year-old man from the Pasadena area was killed in a traffic-related collision not long ago when he lost control of his bike after another vehicle crossed over the centerline. According to news reports, the road accident occurred along a stretch of Nabbs Creek Rd. in Anne Arundel County near the intersection of Francis Rd. The victim, James Cockrell, was apparently riding with a number of other motorcyclists on a Friday when a passenger car coming in the opposite direction allegedly crossed over the centerline, causing a rider ahead of Cockrell to “lay down” his bike to avoid serious injury.
Based on police reports, Cockrell applied the brakes on his cycle in order to avoid hitting the first biker in the road. In doing so, Cockrell’s motorcycle apparently veered off of the roadway and into a nearby woods; police say that the man was then ejected from his bike, hitting a tree. By the time emergency crews arrived at the crash site, Cockrell had succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Information on this particular fatal traffic incident was somewhat sketchy, however, police reports indicated that Cockrell was not wearing a safety helmet at the time of the accident. It was also revealed that the group of bikers had recently left the Nabbs Creek Cafe and that both speed and alcohol may have contributed to the accident.
According to the news, a second rider ended landed in a pile of leaves; that individual initially turned down treatment by EMS workers, who were later called back to render aid to the same rider. No additional information was give about the condition of the second rider.
UPDATE: Police Identify Motorcyclist Killed in Glen Burnie, Patch.com, July 23, 2011