Tyler M. Allen, 21, of Palm Coast, was killed and two women injured this evening (Jan. 12) as Allen, riding a motorcycle, slammed into the back of the car the women were driving on Palm Coast Parkway, just east of the entrance to Canopy Walk.
The crash took place at 7:15 p.m. Allen was pronounced dead 15 minutes later. He had initially been breathing when first attended to but then became unresponsive.
One of the injured women is Julie Murphy, Flagler County government’s public information officer, who was taken to Florida Hospital Flagler with her passenger, Mary Gorman, 56, of Barrington, Ill. Neither sustained life-threatening injuries.
Murphy, who celebrated her 54th birthday today, was at the wheel of the Nissan Versa the motorcyclist rear-ended. The two women were on their way to nearby European Village to celebrate Murphy’s birthday. She was bruised mostly by the seat belt.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol investigator at the scene, the Nissan was pulling out of Fairways Circle, the street opposite the entrance to Canopy Walk, and making a left turn onto Palm Coast Parkway, going east (the Parkway is a two-lane, one-way road in that direction.)
The Nissan had already driven a short distance from the intersection when the motorcyclist, according to a witness speaking to FHP, sped from behind and slammed into the Nissan.
“She’s not at fault,” the investigator said of Murphy, though he did not know her identity (or job title) at the time, and was referring to the driver and the passenger in generic terms. “They were already in the lane when they got hit. The motorcycle was going at a high rate of speed. Referring to the speed of the motorcyclist, the investigator said one witness had said “at least 65 mph, could be faster. It wasn’t 45, that’s for sure.”
A couple had been driving east on Palm Coast Parkway, they told the FHP investigator, when, around Colbert Lane, Allen came up to them from behind in the same lane, quickly served, passed them, and sped on, much faster than they were going. They said they were going about 45. A volunteer firefighter was the only other witness (so far). He told the investigator he’d seen Allen earlier swerving in and out of traffic.
The motorcycle’s front wheel left a deep gash and imprint on the rear bumper of the Nissan, whose back end from the middle was crushed into the back seat several feet, suggesting an extremely violent impact. Several air bags deployed inside the Versa.
The motorcyclist fell not far from the motorcycle, which ended in the outside lane of the Parkway, with the Versa several dozen yards further east.
The Parkway’s eastbound lanes were closed for all but local traffic at Colbert Lane, all the way to Palm Harbor Parkway, as investigators worked the scene. The Medical Examiner arrived at the scene at 8:35 p.m. The Palm Coast Fire Police controlled traffic.
Allen had been wearing a helmet. A motorcycle enthusiast who filled his Instagram account with images of motorcycles, he worked at Coconut Car Wash on State Road 100, near I-95.
The scene was being cleared at 9:35 p.m., with Roger’s Towing of Bunnell removing the wreckage.