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Thomas Trudell, 65, of Palm Coast, Is Killed in Motorcycle vs. Pick-Up Wreck at Belle Terre and Pine Grove

| July 13, 2014

FHP is investigating why Juan Godoy, the driver of a pick-up truck that was at the stop sign on Pine Grove, pulled out in front of a motorcyclist Sunday morning, killing him. (© FlaglerLive)

FHP is investigating why Juan Godoy, the driver of a pick-up truck that was at the stop sign on Pine Grove, pulled out in front of a motorcyclist Sunday morning, killing him. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 8:30 p.m.

Thomas Gerald Trudell, a 65-year-old Palm Coast resident riding his motorcycle on Belle Terre Parkway, was killed Sunday morning when a pick-up truck pulled in front of him at the intersection of Belle Terre and Pine Grove Drive.

The wreck took place just before 10 a.m. Trudell, according to a Florida Highway Patrol investigator at the scene, was riding north on the inside lane of Belle Terre (meaning the lane closer to the median). He was just behind a pick-up truck that was driving north on the outside lane. Meanwhile on Pine Grove, Juan Godoy, 54, of Palm Coast, had pulled up to the stop sign in a Chevy pick-up, intending to make a left to go south on Belle Terre.

Tom Trudell. Click on the image for larger view. (Facebook)

Tom Trudell. Click on the image for larger view. (Facebook)

The pick-up driver going north on Belle Terre had his right-turn signal on, intending to make a right turn onto Pine Grove. For reasons FHP has not yet determined, Godoy pulled out before the other pick-up truck made the turn. As he did so, Trudell’s motorcycle struck the Chevy. “The motorcycle ends up hitting the right-front portion of the bed and the driver’s side door,” the investigator said.

Trudell was killed at the scene. None of the other drivers were injured. Maria Godoy, 51, was riding with Juan Godoy. Speed is not considered an issue at this time. “It doesn’t appear that weather was a factor, traffic was described as very light at that time,” the investigator said. Godoy’s blood is being analyzed for alcohol, but that’s routine in any such crash that FHP investigate. Godoy provided the sample voluntarily.

The pick-up that made the right onto Pine Grove was not damaged. The Chevy was operational after the crash, but is in FHP custody for analysis. One lane on Belle Terre northbound was blocked as investigators did their work.

Trudell was not wearing a helmet, the FHP investigator said–an odd omission, considering that Trudell, on his Facebook page, featured his helmet prominently in some pictures, wearing it, or in one case featuring it in a portrait alongside a cup of coffee and a slice of cake.

Trudell was riding a 2006 Honda GoldWing motorcycle, which he’d ridden to the extremes of the nation–to Madawaska, the northernmost point accessible by road in Maine, and to the extreme southern edge of Key West. Originally from Vermont, He loved his motorcycle, and had once referred to the wording of the Honda ad for the GoldWing–“combines the economies of a lightweight with the vim and vigor of a heavy”–as “the best part.”

Tom Trudell had ridden his motorcycle to the far extremes of the nation's roads. Click on the image for larger view. (Facebook)

Tom Trudell had ridden his motorcycle to the far extremes of the nation’s roads. Click on the image for larger view. (Facebook)

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23 Responses for “Thomas Trudell, 65, of Palm Coast, Is Killed in Motorcycle vs. Pick-Up Wreck at Belle Terre and Pine Grove”

  1. Common sense says:

    “For reasons FHP has not yet determined”

    Its obvious based on the description that the vehicle could not see the motorcycle from his angle; that the pickup making the right turn was blocking his view of the motorcycle.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Prayers go out to the family of the victim. This accident for sure could have been avoided if Mr. Gody had waited for ALL traffic to pass.

    • Cindy says:

      to lett all trafic pass is one important way, however city should consider to remove all the shrubs along Belle Terre and mostly PUT TRAFFIC LIGHT just like Whiteview has…. What about lights on Belle Terre??? the whole Town Center is light up like christmas tree… what about Belle Terre…its really time to put on thinking cap CITY of Palm Coast!!!! this is not the first accident… Prayers and love to the family.

  3. Nancy N. says:

    I was involved in a nearly identical accident at an intersection on the north end of Belle Terre last December. I was the car turning off of Belle Terre, and someone pulled out from a side street to turn left in front of me as I was slowing down to make my turn, not realizing that there was a car in the other lane they couldn’t see. Some drivers just seem to have no concept that there is a blind spot hidden behind that turning vehicle. Fortunately in my incident, it was all cars involved and there was no injuries. Lesson learned by that lady the hard way!

    • Steve Wolfe says:

      About half of the population of Palm Coast is from other places. When I got my Florida license there was nothing done to determine my worthiness to exercise the privilege to drive on Florida roadways. Perhaps it’s time for some comprehensive licensing reform so people are tested for a pulse and a brain becore they assume to put others at risk of sharing the roads with them. I’ve also noticed that there is no state safety inspection of vehicles, and lots of cars on the road are unsafe junk as a result. I’ve pulled along side two drivers here so far to ask them, “You know what that squeeling sound is coming from your wheels?” Also, I would love to see more done to prevent texting while driving. We have laws for a reason, although I acknowledge that you can’t outlaw stupid. Stupid is as stupid drives.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Driving a pick up is notoriously dangerous.

  5. Sunbeam says:

    How terrible for all involved. May the love and comfort of our good Lord be with all.

  6. Seminole Pride says:

    I never, ever pull out into traffic when a the other vehicle has his turn signal on. First rule of driving.

  7. confidential says:

    How sad…one more tragic case of violation of right of way. A stop sign, is a stop sign.

  8. Bella says:

    I Personally Live there My Husband Was hit on his Motorcycle 7 years ago same spot The Problem is We need a Traffic Light there Everyday as it happened yesterday Someone on Pine Grove tries to beat the traffic and pulls out I personally at the same spot in my car have almost been hit and cut off many times when trying to turn onto Pine Grove The worst part of all of this is A Mans Life was lost A husband Father Grandfather and before this happens again The City needs to do something We need a Traffic Light instead of worrying about red light tickets worry about how many lives can be saved RIP Mr Trudell My Thoughts and Prayers are with the family

    • Anonymous says:

      I own drive everyday for a living and there are ways around this like..turn right only at ponce de leon, pine grove and pritchard….there are access threw whiteview or just turn around at rymfire…traffic lights i can tell you dont always work…in Europe they use roundabouts to slow traffic and give access to streets..i agree for awhile something should be done

  9. The Truth says:

    What a horrible tragedy. Our lives and our families are the most precious thing we have. Please don’t take those things for granted. Everything can change in a heartbeat. May God bless the families of this horrible tragedy.

  10. jdmlpn says:

    A friend of mine was involved in an accident at that same spot not too long ago. Thankfully there were only minor injuries involved. I personally experienced a potential accident when someone turning from Pine Grove onto southbound Belle Terre pulled out into the left lane instead of into the break in the median. Myself and the person ahead of me were able to stop in time. It seems that people making a left from Pine Grove don’t see the on coming traffic in the northbound left lane of Belle Terre. Perhaps some signage should be posted reminding drivers to pay extra attention.

    My condolences to the Trudell family.

  11. Brandon says:

    This is sad my prayers go out to all the families involved, hearing this make you realize that you can come in to this world and be taken out just as fast. I hope the Trudell family heals from this a becomes strong accidents aren’t fun. God bless and my condolences to the Trudell family.

  12. ⓖⓔⓔⓩⓔⓡ Drive carefully please says:

    Have any of you ever tried to make a left from Eastwood Drive onto Belle Terre Parkway?
    Notice the tall shrubs blocking your view of oncoming traffic on the left, along the bike path?
    I have photographed this blatant safety hazard and will provide pictures to anyone injured
    at that intersection so they can sue Palm Coast. (as much as sovereign immunity will permit)
    That’s the “King Can Do No Wrong” law that protects Florida counties from lawsuit payouts
    over $200.000. No real litigation worries for negligent cities and their faulty planning….

    And that Pine Grove intersection badly needs a traffic light.
    A stop sign is no longer adequate nor safe there. Too many motorists going through there.
    Try hanging a left over there in the middle of the day. DANGEROUS.
    Does the city care? What do you think?

    I don’t know the fine details or nuances of the accident that took Tom Trudell from us.
    I feel bad for him and those who loved him. It’s ironic that he died here having ridden in extreme
    locales and so many miles in between. Only to die here on our sterile streets…….

    May Tom Trudell rest peacefully, and may his loved ones find solace reflecting upon
    the happy times spent with him. I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Rick says:

      ⓖⓔⓔⓩⓔⓡ,
      You’re not the only one that has a serious problem with all this, intentionally planted, vegetation blatantly blocking views when attempting a left hand turn.
      I also find it very annoying at some of these intersections & it literally pisses me off. Other drivers look at you like ‘what the hell ya trying to do?’
      It seems to be oh well sucks for you if you aren’t in a huge vehicle sitting five feet up so you have a clear view all around & all the time.
      I have to add another to your list one should take extra precaution at because of the limited view, due to the tall plants in the median.
      When attempting a left hand turn off of the west end of Hospital Dr. onto the Town Center Blvd. south, one has to be half way across the north bound lane before you have a complete view of traffic headed south.
      Yea the plants & vegetation look nice in the medians but at what cost, human lives? How about not planting them on top of the intersections & while they’re at it they could remove the ones that are already blocking our view.

  13. Sadly i say... says:

    As unfortunate as it is, we all know, the only way a traffic light goes up in this city is when a family member of our “beloved” council is injured. then and only then does it become an issue that needs tending to. As soon as one of them receives a red light ticket, those will be gone too!

    Prayers to both families as they work through this horrible tragedy…

  14. Rick Belhumeur says:

    To survive while riding a motorcycle, you have to pretty much assume that everyone is an idiot. You can not trust anyone. My brother was killed on his motorcycle the exact same way. When I ride up through that area of Belle Terre, I am always on the lookout for people pulling out from those sidestreets. My thoughts go out to his family.

  15. Steven Nobile says:

    Our prayers go out to the family and friends of Tom Trudell…

  16. Pine Grove Resident. says:

    With the increase in population , that intersection is extremely dangerous. I was horrified Sunday when my husband and I witness the aftermath of this accident. Thoughts and prayers to all involved. It’s a shame when bad things have to make changes for safer means.

  17. Unfortunately, safety rules are not enacted until there is so much public outrage that even the legislators say enough. Like the Titanic, there was no rule about minimun number of lifeboats until it sank; like doors in a public theater which now swing out to allow escape in a fire. How many thousands will be killed by firearms before the rules change?
    Palm coast will wait until the public outrage is so overwhelming that it will finally take action. That may be years away.

  18. Andrea says:

    I just learned that Tom Trudell had died in an accident while riding his motorcycle. If anyone sees this, you should know what a good, kind man he was.

    In the years and months prior tom Tom’s big ride from Key West to Maine, Tom had nursed and cared for his wife, who was dying of cancer. He had taken a sabbatical from work, just to care for her. I was the recruiter, helping him get interviews so he could get back into his professional life, after his wife passed away. I was in awe of his courage and drive to ride his motorcycle so far. I think he needed that ride to help his heart heal.

    And Tom had a HUGE heart. His calling was as an Orthotist-Prosthetist, a medical professional whose goal it is to enable his patients to walk again: People who had leg or knee surgery, serious injuries, amputees — Tom fitted them for braces and prosthetics that restored their ability to walk. That is some calling…. In the course of his career, he helped thousands of patients to regain an ability that so many of us take for granted. He also taught students in Orthotics and Prosthetics at St. Petersburg College, sharing his marvelous talents in healing and compassion.

    Tom’s death is a huge loss to his children, family and to the world. It is some comfort that he is with his wife now, but much too soon. He had a lot of living left to do. Godspeed, Tom. I am heartbroken to read this.

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