A 19-year-old driver who caused a fatal motorcycle crash that killed a Maryland man has been fined $115 for the accident, but investigators found she was otherwise not negligent in the case of this traffic death. The rider, Harry D. Catts, of Smithsburg, MD, died from injuries suffered on Route 11 in Pennsylvania in late April.
Despite the gravity of the incident, police investigators and the local prosecutor’s office said that Samantha J. Young was not grossly negligent when she turned left in front of the 72-yeal-old Catts. Eye witnesses reported seeing the teenage driver make a left turn into the path of the motorcycle rider, who struck the side of Young’s car.
Police said the crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. on April 26 at a busy intersection near the Plainfield exit of Interstate 81. According to police reports, Young told an officer at the scene that she saw the green light and made the turn, but claimed she didn’t see the motorcyclist. An accident reconstruction team reviewed the crash scene but apparently found nothing out of the ordinary. Authorities stated that there was no alcohol or cell-phone use involved, and police said that the traffic signals were found to be working properly.
As Maryland Automobile Accident Attorneys, our office has represented many families who have lost a loved one through a motorcycle or car accident. Motorcycle accidents, in particular, can result in very serious bodily injuries or even death due to complications from head trauma or spinal cord injuries.
In this case, the police determined that the driver who caused the accident was simply inexperienced and therefore not grossly negligent for the motorcycle rider’s death. Despite the local district attorney’s statement that the accident was “a mere error of judgment,” there is little solace in the fact that the young woman received only a monetary penalty.
Any death is tragic, but traffic deaths are especially heartbreaking because many could have been prevented. If a relative or someone you know has been killed or injured as a result of another driver’s negligence, you need to contact a qualified car accident lawyer. The law firm of Lebowitz-Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers is experience in all types of traffic accident litigation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free initial consultation.
Newville woman, 19, cited in fatal crash, PennLive.com, May 22, 2009