Archive for August 20th, 2009

DistractedAll motorcycle riders are responsible for the safe operation of their vehicle on public roads and highways.

For that matter all road users — car drivers, truck drivers and even bicyclists share this responsibility.  Yet, distracted or inattentive driving has become a major issue for both motorcyclists and automobile operators.  Far too many incidents have been documented where motorcyclists were injured or killed as the result of inattentive driving.   In addition, automobile drivers engaged in distracted driving behavior are extremely dangerous to motorcyclists having deadly results.

Meanwhile we learn that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) withheld distracted-driver data to avoid angering Congress.  And how about this…ever pass a semi driver who was on the phone?  I have.  A new study conducted by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reports that when long haul truck drivers texted, their collision risk was 23 times greater than when not texting.  Thirty-six states do not ban texting while driving!

Below is a summary of Oregon motorcycle accidents and questionable riding judgment/behavior for June – August 20, 2009.  I truly dislike researching and aggregating this type of information.  As a result, I’ve added direct links to the police accident flash report and state police PR activity on the right side under “Latest News” link and you can directly access the data if you have interest.  I’m not going to summarize accident reports going forward… they creep me out.

08-13-2009 – Washington County Sheriff And CART Respond To Fatal Motorcycle Crash — KENNETH DAWKINS, age 36, from Tigard died when his motorcycle collided with a guard rail on Southwest Scoggins Valley Road near Henry Hagg Lake.  Another motorcyclists, VIACHESLAV KOSTYUSHKO, age 21, from Milwaukee, sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was discharged from the hospital. More info on a previous post HERE.

08-13-2009 – Sheriff’s Office Responds To Motorcycle Crash (No Link) — The driver of a 2006 Harley-Davidson, MARK STRAND, age 49, from Salem was eastbound on Hazelgreen Road NE.  Came around the corner near 75th Ave NE and went off the road into the ditch.  STRAND was life flight to Legacy Emanual Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

08-07-2009 – Double Fatal Traffic Crash – Highway 20 east of Albany — A 1999 Saturn 4-door, operated by MICHELLE IRMA ELDRIDGE, age 46, from Lebanon, was westbound on Highway 20 near milepost 9. The Saturn began to pass a vehicle and collided head-on with an eastbound 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle. Both Eldridge and the operator of the motorcycle, RICK DALE STEPHENSON, age 50, of Kelso, WA, were deceased at the scene.

08-01-2009 – Fatal Traffic Crash – Highway 22 west of Santiam Pass — A Harley Davidson motorcycle operated by TERRY MELTON, age 46, from Salem, was eastbound on Highway 22 near milepost 70 with his wife, VIRGINIA MELTON, age 53, as a passenger. Preliminary information indicates the operator noticed his wife slumping behind him and tried to hold on to her to keep her from falling off the motorcycle. Despite his attempt to keep her on, she fell off onto the highway. After the passenger fell off, the operator lost control and laid the motorcycle on its side and slid an unknown distance on the highway.

07-27-2009 – 130 MPH Motorcyclist Arrested east of The Dalles — The operator, identified as WILLIAM A. NISWANGER, age 31, from Sandy, told the trooper that he knew that he was driving too fast but was trying to get his female passenger to a 8:30 a.m. court appointment in Bend.  It was 8:16am.  NISWANGER had five outstanding warrants for his arrest. The warrants were all based on prior traffic offenses.

07-15-2009 – Video Released of Motorcyclist Crashing Next to OSP Trooper Reminder to Slow Down and Pay Attention — An Oregon State Police (OSP) in-car video of an incident that happened June 18th is being released after a motorcycle operator pled guilty to Careless Driving when he lost control and separated from his motorcycle. The in-car video caught the sliding motorcycle and rolling operator as both passed the trooper’s stopped patrol car along Interstate 84 in The Dalles.

07-06-2009 – Fatal Motorcycle Crash – Highway 126E near Belknap Springs — 2002 Harley Davidson operated by ANN MARIE POOLE, age 50, from Ravensdale, Washington was eastbound on Highway 126E near milepost 11 following her husband who was operating a second motorcycle.  For an unknown reason while negotiating a slight right curve, the motorcycle crossed the center line and crashed into a guardrail.

07-05-2009 – Fatal Motorcycle Crash – Interstate 84 west of Ontario — 2005 Suzuki motorcycle operated by STEVE HOLVEY, age 57, from Baker City, was eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 356.  For an unknown reason, the motorcycle was negotiating a left curve and drove off the right side of the freeway onto the gravel shoulder.

07-04-2009 – 122 MPH Motorcyclist Arrested Following Attempt to Elude in Southeast Portland — 2007 Suzuki SX7 motorcycle southbound on Interstate 205 near Powell Boulevard and obtained a speed reading on radar of 122 mph in a 55 mph speed zone.  RYAN ROBERT DOWLEY, age 20, from southeast Portland, was taken into custody for Felony Attempt to Elude Police on a Vehicle and Reckless Driving.

06-16-2009 – OSP Cites 103 MPH Driver on Highway 26 west of Madras — 1997 gray Suzuki traveling West on Hwy 26, 10 miles east of Madras, for traveling at 103 mph in a posted 55 mph zone. The driver was 20 year old TRAVIS SPRENGEL of Madras.

06-01-2009 – OSP Cites 130 MPH Driver on Highway 18 west of McMinnville — 2006 Kawasaki motorcycle accelerated toward northbound Interstate 5 and the trooper was able to obtain a speed reading of 110 mph while it was in a curve merging onto the freeway from Kruse Way. The motorcycle was stopped near milepost 295 and its operator, TODD A. MARSH, age 46, from McMinnville, was cited for Exceeding the Posted Speed Limit in Excess of 100 mph.

Photo courtesy of Alan927.com.  Rider in photo is a professional on a closed course.

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