On Saturday at about 4:00 p.m. near Santaquin Utah a motorcycle driven by a 39-year-old man and a 6-year-old girl crashed into a recliner chair that had fallen onto I-15 near Santaquin, Utah. This crash was reported in the Salt Lake Tribune.
The man was taken by medical helicopter to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center with extensive road rash and was listed in critical condition but fortunately his injuries were not life-threatening. The young girl passenger on the motorcycle sustained only minor injuries but was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
From reports it appears that the motorcycle was following a pick-up that was carrying the recliner and the recliner fell off the truck directly into the path of the motorcycle. The motorcycle probably had no chance to avoid the chair and crashed into it causing the bike to crash and throwing the riders. The driver of the truck was apparently cited for failure to secure the load.
The driver of the truck will probably also be sued! This type of crash happens all too often and I have blogged about this before talking about tire and wheel maintenance and in another article titles Top Ten Motorcycle Facts All Drivers Need To Know. There was another incident last year I recall when a motorcyclist near Bountiful crashed after hitting a large hose that was strewn across I-15. There was also a recent post on a facebook group I belong called Utah Motorcyclists talking about how another local motorcyclist escaped a crash that would have been the result of highway debris. In 2007 the Deseret News reported that calls about debris on roads in Salt Lake County from January through July of 2007 were:
- 4,814 calls
- 280 crashes involving debris
- 203 “attempts to locate” on vehicles spilling gravel
- 63 “attempts to locate” on a person who was littering
Cleanup efforts by UDOT:
- $1.8 million average cost each year
- 3,000 dump truck loads annually
- 99,600 trash bags used in 2006
The driver of the truck should be sued. After all, it appears the driver of the truck caused this crash. The insurance company will probably argue that somehow the motorcycle driver should have avoided the crash. They may claim that the motorcyclist should have recognized that a precarious load may fall off a truck and therefore the motorcyclist should have changed lanes and avoided the crash. Plausible – maybe – enough to get the truck driver off the hook – I don't think so.
Furthermore, the motorcyclist may have to sue his own insurer if the truck driver's insurer does not have enough coverage to completely compensate the injured motorcycle driver and passenger. This is a good example of why every motorcycle rider needs good underinsured and uninsured coverage. These two motorcyclists were relatively lucky. They were lucky that their injuries were not much more substantial or they were killed.
Utah Bike Law and its lawyers are not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions about your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well. Utah Bike Law and its attorneys are licensed to practice law only in the State of Utah and maintain offices in Salt Lake City, Utah. No attorney client relationship is established by simply visiting this website.