No Bull, No Fluff, No Smudges
Your news source for
Flagler, Florida and Beyond

Gordon Therrien, 60, Killed When Motorcycle and Semi Truck Collide on U.S. 1 at White Eagle

| November 20, 2017

The motorcycle was struck in the northbound lanes of U.S. 1, across from the White Eagle Lounge. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

The motorcycle was struck in the northbound lanes of U.S. 1, across from the White Eagle Lounge. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: Tuesday, 6:55 a.m.

The U.S. 1 intersection at the White Eagle Lounge in Korona has claimed another victim, the 6th person to be killed in a traffic crash there in nine months.


At 3:21 this afternoon, motorcyclist Gordon Therrien, 60, of Claremont, N.H., was killed in a collision with a semi truck. Therrien was pronounced dead at the scene almost immediately after the crash, as Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies arrived there.

The crash followed the same pattern as previous fatal and serious crashes there, where motorists get in collisions either as they attempt to cross the highway or as they merge onto U.S. 1 from a significant dip on the east side of the highway.

In this case, the motorcyclist appears either to have been crossing U.S. 1 from the Eagle Lounge, to go south on U.S. 1, or merging onto traffic, when a semi truck driving north collided with the front of the motorcycle, tearing off the front wheel and catapulting the rider about 30 yards north of where the bike fell. (Late Monday, investigators confirmed that Therrien was riding west on Old Dixie Highway and was seeking to cross U.S. 1 to make a left and go south when the collission occurred.)

The 2016 Harley Davidson Ultra and Therrien came to rest across the middle of the two northbound lanes of U.S. 1.

The front of the semi truck was intact. But its passenger-side metal step was torn off from the step and stretched parallel to the truck (see the image below), strongly suggesting that the truck somehow clipped the motorcycle–or that the motorcycle collided with the stepper.

Abraham Cannon, 57, of Hollister, Fla., drove the truck, a 2016 Peterbilt registered to A & CC Express. It was pulling an empty flatbed. it drove on about 150 yards and pulled over on the left side of the highway. The driver was at the scene, speaking on his cell phone or walking around the cab of his truck.

Therrien was initially initially and incorrectly reported to be a woman. “Wasn’t a woman it was a man,” Patrice Harris wrote to FlaglerLive, “I was there assisting aide with another gentleman giving the now angel CPR. I prayed for him when I noticed there was [no] more life in him. I came home to bloody hands and work clothes ( I literally just got off work ) but a nurse’s job doesn’t have to be just done in the hospital. Condolences to his family.”

It was the second fatality in three days and the third serious crash, the second involving a motorcycle, on Flagler County roads. A 10-year-old girl was killed in a single-vehicle crash on I-95 Friday evening. A man crashed his motorcycle at Seminole Woods and Citation Parkway Sunday night and was taken to Halifax hospital in critical condition. The Florida Highway Patrol has not responded to a request for updates on the man’s condition since, nor provided his identity.

The White Eagle intersection was the scene of the year’s deadliest crash in February when five people riding in the same car were killed in a three-vehicle wreck, again as the vehicle was attempting to cross U.S. 1. That crash also took place in daylight and in normal driving conditions–no rain, no fog. But the intersection has been notorious for its dangers, as three roads meet there–Old Dixie Highway, County Road 325, and U.S. 1. The state Transportation Department had been studying the intersection and said it would make safety improvements there after the February crash, but little changed other than striping on the pavement.

The crash closed the segment of U.S. 1 immediately north of the intersection, but northbound traffic was merely diverted through the White Eagle parking lot and back onto U.S. 1 a little distance further north. Southbound traffic was not impeded.

The Sheriff’s Office was holding the scene in anticipation of a Florida Highway Patrol traffic homicide investigator’s arrival. FHP arrived on scene one hour after the crash. The body, still on the highway, was covered with a yellow tarp and surrounded by five orange and white traffic cones, awaiting the arrival of the medical examiner, who comes in from St. Augustine. He arrived at the scene at 5:15 p.m.

Around that time, State Road A1A in the Hammock, at Shady Lane, was shut down in both direction following a collision between a vehicle and a person on a motorcycle. But the victim was conscious.

Last February Sheriff Rick Staly had written the state transportation secretary, clamoring for better safety improvements at the intersection–and echoing similar public clamor, which picked up again today. “While I am not a traffic engineer,” Staly wrote at the time, “I do not believe lowering the speed limit alone is a viable solution. Our agency and FHP do not have sufficient staffing levels to enforce the speed limit to the level necessary to have an impact on the traffic flow. Drivers will just continue to exceed the speed limit and those that are caught will just incur a larger fine. To me this is not a solution. My recommendation would be to install a fully functioning traffic signal along with signage north and south of the intersection on U.S. 1 warning drivers they are approaching a traffic signal. This is needed because of the proximity of the curves to the intersection,” both on the north and south sides of the intersection.”

The motorcycle appears to have been clipped by the metal step on the passenger side of the truck's cab. See the more detailed picture below. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

The motorcycle appears to have been clipped by the metal step on the passenger side of the truck’s cab. See the more detailed picture below. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)


motorcycle fatality truck

The torn step in more details. (c FlaglerLive)


us 1 fatality truck vs. motorcycle

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper talks with the driver of the truck. (© FlaglerLive)


us 1 fatality

The truck. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The motorcycle from a different angle. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The motorcycle from a different angle. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The motorcycle's front wheel was torn off and rested a few dozen feet north of the motorcycle. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The motorcycle’s front wheel was torn off and rested a few dozen feet north of the motorcycle. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The scene of the crash looking north. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The scene of the crash looking north. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The U.S. 1 intersection at the White Eagle Lounge has been a graveyard: the scene today, a juxtaposition of crosses from previous wrecks as traffick backs up following today's death. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The U.S. 1 intersection at the White Eagle Lounge has been a graveyard: the scene today, a juxtaposition of crosses from previous wrecks as traffick backs up following today’s death. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

46 Responses for “Gordon Therrien, 60, Killed When Motorcycle and Semi Truck Collide on U.S. 1 at White Eagle”

  1. Anonymous says:

    PLEASE put in a traffic light!!!

  2. Concerned Citizen says:

    I am sorry that another human life has been lost at this intersection.

    I travel this stretch of road 5 days a week to go home. It is indeed a dangerous piece of Highway. The amount of people that cut across and violate right of way for US1 and the tail gating and speeding on US1 are mind boggling.

    The first solution to this problem is personal accountability. People need to act right behind the wheel. Stop the reckless/distracted driving and put the phones and drive your car !! I promise that call/text can wait. By the way I believe texting is now illegal or it should be anyways.

    I also promise you that you don’t save time doing 15 to 20 miles over the posted speed limit. The speed limit isn’t a suggestion by the way. And that time you’re wasting riding my bumper because I’m only doing the speed limit? Not helping either.

    The second solution is a red light and better markings at this intersection. Force people to stop when you approach US1 instead of trying to shoot across thinking you have it. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen that happen. Red lights are inconvenient sure. But not as permanent as the outcome of today’s crash.

    Lastly and people are going to hate me for this outcry. Where in the heck is the Sheriff’s Office and FHP at? Again I drive this stretch every afternoon in heavy traffic and there is minimal law enforcement presence. Get out there and patrol THIS stretch of Highway for a change.

    I retired out of the Public Safety field with 30 plus years (both LEO and Fire Rescue) and now drive a commercial vehicle. It saddens me every time I see an incident like this. Saddens me even more when most of them are preventable.

  3. Mondexian Mama says:

    There are two stop signs for the same eastbound street about 20 feet apart. I’ve seen quite a few drivers stop for the first one,and either ignore or not notice the second one. Eliminating the first sign would be a big help.

  4. Rick Belhumeur says:

    You’ve got to pay attention, especially on two wheels… Your life depends on it. I call it ” self-preservation”.

  5. Palm coast resident says:

    All this accidents and all this deaths yet palm coast still doesn’t understand they need to put up a full functioning traffic signal instead they like to go around and fine people for minor stuff, not cutting your grass on time, having a broken fence, parking your car on the grass, and all kinds of minor stuff like that all they care about is getting money but when it comes time to spend money for peoples saftety somehow they are low on budget and they don’t do it.
    But we have a new mayor now hopefully she solves things differently.

  6. Really says:

    I dont ride due to lack of recognition from other motorists. Packed it in. RIP

  7. OhDearGod says:

    Please Sheriff Staly! I have come to admire all the things you are doing for our county! PLEASE get lights put in here! This insane death trap has to END! As an avid motorcycle rider, I have come to know how DANGEROUS that intersection is. I actually AVOID it for this very reason. How many have to lose their lives before a change is made?????

    RIP to our fellow biker, who died doing what he loved to do! But this should NOT have happened! It is avoidable with proper light!

  8. Kristy says:

    They really need to put a red light there. This scene could of been my husband a few weeks ago but luckily he didn’t ride he took his truck instead and someone ran the stop sign and totaled his truck. Prayers to the family of the biker who lost his life and to the trucker as well.

  9. out of town person says:

    My condolences to the family of this accident..I don’t know why there still isn’t a working light here..Put a working light in..How many people have to get killed here before somebody has to do something about this..May you R.I.P ..My condolences again..Sorry to this family that they lost their loved one..God Bless..

  10. William says:

    Really needs a traffic light there, had a wreck there on the 27th of last month early in the morning, luckly I am alive, almost rode my motorcycle that day, the wreck would of killed me. This is such a dangerous spot. PLEASE PUT A LIGHT THERE….

  11. Anonymous says:

    There is no need for a round-a-bout or a stop light in this location. There are sufficient STOP signs and they are being ignored and people are pulling out in front of traffic….some trying to beat the traffic. How many STOP sign violators are cited at this location? Was the person driving the motorcycle wearing a helmet and were they previously drinking at the White Eagle? This is a sad occurrence, and certainly an avoidable happening if the signs in place were adhered to. RIP

  12. Beatrice says:

    Mondexian Mama, that first stop sign IS a problem, only because people ignore it. It is for drivers westbound on Old Dixie to give right of way to drivers coming off US 1 onto County Road 325. That may look like a Podunk little road, but many people, including me, live on that road. It is also used as a shortcut to many more who are going into Seminole Woods. Fail to stop at your peril. You may get hit by someone coming off US 1, or cause a three car accident by the car behind me who doesn’t realize I can’t follow through onto my street because you didn’t stop and give me right of way. I have experienced both scenarios many times. That STOP sign has a reason to be there.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I would also like to know where law enforcement is patrolling? What happen to the Traffic Unit? If they were out giving tickets like they should, we would have less fatalities. I see speeding, red light running, zig sagging across lanes, among other things. Come on done your job! It’s not always about the big busts. It’s is about saving lives.

  14. Al Zeimers says:

    This is always the way things are. Don’t do anything intelligent before hand Wait and see how many people get killed to see if the situation warrants any action. Just driving around Palm Coast I am struck by the many places that could use some changes. You would think that the police would bring some of the situations that they see to the attention of the responsible people. I am sad for the victim as I am from NH myself and have been to Claremont . many times on my motorcycle.

  15. Arlene j Smith says:

    I do believe if they lower the speed will make a big difference. Those caught for speeding should pay a big fine. I have rode that rode for many years and never seen this many accidents on that road until they raised the speed limit. I also ride motorcycle and all streets are bad due to alot of people on cell phones or doing 60 in 45 mph zones and cutting in and out of lanes without turning their heads to make sure there is nothing around them. I also drive Old Dixie Highway and never had problems at that intersection but I watch closely and more defensive than others. You can’t assume someone is doing the speed limit and just pull out because people are usually doing way over speed limit.

  16. Just the truth says:

    How many more lives is Flagler County Officials allow to die at this dangerous intersection. Listen to Sheriff Staly and correct this before other people die there, what will it take for you to correct this?
    There is obvious something is wrong here, fix it and fix it soon.

  17. Linzey chaffin says:

    So sad another killed
    Probably the bikers fault, but trucks do over 70 on Rt 1 all the time
    Not enough patrolling in the county

  18. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if more cops were doing their jobs and not parked, or parked along side another patrol car conversing they would see violators who run the stop sign at this location! There is a speed trap on this road and plenty of citations are issued there, so why not at the entrance of US? There is no need for a traffic light, just obey the devices in place. A traffic light isn’t going to stop cars–the STOP signs certainly aren’t.

  19. Jenn says:

    Maybe they would do something about the intersection now that so many lives have been taken how horrible. My condolences for his entire family. May he rest in peace.

  20. Wishful Thinking says:

    A traffic light is needed today which flashes yellow at all times when not full RED, NOW as well as a sign on OLD DIXIE westbound stating ‘ USE EXTREME CAUTION at intersection;
    My heart goes out to this man’s loved ones. May he rest in peace.

  21. Sam says:

    FDOT need to place a traffic light instead of a blinking light, a lot more people live in that area compare to 20 years ago.

  22. James Stevens says:

    That was my nephew i.like my brother.he does not do reckless things on anything.and I know he would never drink and drive and I know how local truck drivers drive.i would almost 100 percent guarantee it was truck drivers fault

  23. Emily says:

    When a motorcycle is involved in any kind of crash it’s “always” the car or trucks fault…. everybody as a whole should be more aware of the surroundings like giving yourself enough time to merge or cross through an intersection.. prayers to everyone involved

  24. bruceski says:

    @ James Stevens, how can this be the trucks fault? The bike ran into the side of the truck…

  25. Hmmm says:

    The only problem at that interection is the drivers that dont yield. There isnt a stop light for the vehicles going north or south on us1, so if a car pulls out in front of them, obviously an accident occurs. I feel bad people get killed there, but how was the driver of the truck at fault traveling north with no stop, and the motorcyclist coming from the side street thats crossing the road gets hit? Dont blame the agencies, the light, the drivers that have people pull out in front of them…you can see in both directions very clearly when at that stop sign.

  26. Joseph cooper says:

    I rode by there and help block traffic its not about pointing fingers who is wrong and who is not, we need to slow it down and look twice and make sure
    We are all ok.

  27. Heidi says:

    I can’t believe it

  28. Dave B says:

    How could this possibly be the truck drivers fault when the damage was on the passenger side of the tractor

  29. Unskilled driver patrol says:

    The problem with that stretch of road is people somehow get confused by the red flashing light at Old Dixie Highway thinking that the cross traffic also has a red flashing light when they only have yellow. Where are the signs that say cross traffic does not stop. Drivers are impatient and distracted. You can see a semi truck coming but maybe you think they have a flashing red light too and are going to stop. I drive this road 5 days a week. I enter and exit many times at Old Dixie, I have no problems and never have in the 15 years I’ve been here. I’ve had people pull out in front of me on other roads when I’m the only car coming but they can’t seem to wait 3 seconds and pull out after me. I’ve had people nearly run me off the road because they aren’t paying attention when switching lanes. Many are older distracted people, many are texting and just plain unskilled at the rules of the road. Slow drivers in the passing lane jamming up traffic and causing accidents. People not using blinkers and proper lane changing. We have poorly skilled drivers in this state along with elderly retired drivers that may not be able to safely drive anymore. Whatever the reason is its not the intersection, its the drivers. P.S. three fourths the people driving in this state also do not put on their headlights when its raining and they use their hazard lights while driving in heavy rain and confuse people into thinking they are stopped on the highway. Again poorly skilled drivers with no idea the rules of the road. Drive defensively like they are all out to get you and watch everything everyone is doing is the only way to be safe and save your own life.

  30. Barney Fife says:

    I ended up on my roof at this intersection in 2010 hanging by my seat belt. I was going 60 mph heading north and saw the individual the whole time come from behind the White eagle, not at the actual intersection. He came to a stop and sat there and never saw him look until our trucks were about to make impact. He admitted to drinking a few beers but was only given a follow my finger test and he passed. Pure and simple is there are people who should not be driving and no stop sign, light or roundabout is going to solve the problem. Those are all excuses, people have to accept more responsibility when they are driving and be more cognizant of what the hell they are doing.

  31. woody says:

    No more traffic lights in Flagler County.There are too many now and if they worked as well as some might think there would never be a reason for red light camera’s.There has to be a better answer.While in Mexico they installed speed bumps on the side roads,better than traffic lights and stop signs said the cab driver.

  32. Steve says:

    One day Morgan & Morgan will represent the family of an injured party and they will not only file suit against the traffic violator but the County and State also. Both the County and State are well aware that this intersection is dangerous and not proper. Curves, lane shifts, low shoulder, poor markings, signage, etc… I could go on and on. This is a dream case for a large personal injury firm.

    The simple inexpensive solution is a full functioning traffic signal. My god, there is one now at Seminole Woods and US 1 as well as Belle Terre and US 1. Neither of those intersections ever came close to the dangers at Old Dixie and US 1.

    Sheriff Rick Staly make this a priority! Screw letter writing. Jump in your car and lobby Tallahassee.

  33. James Stevens says:

    Nobody not even an idiot would just drive in the side of a semi.we will see

  34. Anonymous says:

    U kidding me the truck drivers fault?Really really whatever wake up people and look 👀

  35. gmath55 says:

    Survey Says Florida Ranked #1 Again For Worst Drivers. Two time champions!

    http://miami.cbslocal.com/2017/08/29/survey-florida-worst-drivers/

  36. Anthonuy Stevens says:

    I would like to thank Patricia Harris for trying to save my cousin’s life.

  37. out of town person says:

    My condolences to the family of Gordon Therrien may God Bless you and may Gordon Therrien R.I.P

  38. Trailer Bob says:

    Nothing is going to stop someone who makes the decision to pull out in front of an 18 wheeler. You would think that seeing a large truck would be more of a warning than any street sign or light. I have never had an issue going by that intersection. Big damned truck? Don’t drive into it. RIP.

  39. Ken Dodge says:

    FDOT has jurisdiction: FCSO is doing what it can to get safety upgrades here.
    See https://flaglerlive.com/?p=114808

  40. Ed lobb says:

    Big brother knows best. If they say we don’t need a light, we don’t need one.
    Of course if you think about it they lost 6 tax payers in the last 9 months and their revenue alone would have paid for a light. Maybe we need to lose an even dozen to affect the tax base enougf to get a light.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I never liked motorcycles. I feel they are inherently dangerous vehicles because the way they are designed, error correction by the operator can sometimes be difficult or impossible without falling off or crashing in circumstances that would be simple to get out of with a car. It seems like every time you turn around, there is another motorcycle crash, Bike Week being an example. No matter how much you raise awareness, they are harder to see by other drivers, especially when considering how we have a lot of geriatric and inebriated people driving around.

  42. Anonymous says:

    I never liked motorcycles. I feel they are inherently dangerous vehicles because the way they are designed, error correction by the operator can sometimes be difficult or impossible without falling off or crashing in circumstances that would be simple to get out of with a car. It seems like every time you turn around, there is another motorcycle crash, Bike Week being an example. No matter how much you raise awareness, they are harder to see by other drivers, especially when considering how we have a lot of geriatric and inebriated people driving around.

  43. Tammy A Therrien says:

    This was my brother. He was not reckless. He did not drink and drive. He was a very upstanding man. Serious problems with this intersection. I will fight in hopes it will not take anymore lives.

  44. Annoyed says:

    Come on people, stop blaming the police! You can lower the speed limit but it won’t change a thing. If you have the need to blame someone, blame the FDOT for not doing anything to correct the problem here. You might also blame the engineers who came up with this design for the roads. The police could set there 24/7and it still will not solve the problem. You can’t fix stupid! People need to pay attention to their driving. Look around sometime and see how many people are on their cell phones. People don’t slow down anymore for flashing yellow lights.

  45. Kelly Earle says:

    This was my cousin and it is obvious that people can point fingers at whose fault this is. The reality is that the family is grieving the loss of of a wonderful person that was taken way to early, so show some respect please.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Annoyed and Kelly, I am sorry for your loss and the pain you and your families suffer from this tragedy. I am somewhat puzzled that you say not to blame the police, but you did not state what the cause of the accident was. Did someone fail to stop or yield? If that is the case, it is expected that police would keep a closer eye on this location and enforce the devices in place rather than keep appealing for more lights or a round a bout. If people aren’t going to obey the devices in place a light or round a bout is not going to do any good to save a life. Matter of fact, I would expect that a round a bout would case my tragedies in this location. Until the problem can be identified it can’t be fixed. Please let us know what the problems are so we can all exercise more caution in this area and perhaps that in itself will save a life from this point forward. May God be with you and your families.

Leave a Reply

Read FlaglerLive's Comment Policy | Subscribe to the Comment Feed rss flaglerlive comment feed rss

More stories on FlaglerLive
Loading

ADVERTISEMENTS

support flaglerlive palm coast flagler county news pierre tristam
news service of florida

Subscribe to FlaglerLive

Get immediate notification of new stories.

Advertisement
Log in
| FlaglerLive, P.O. Box 354263, Palm Coast, FL 32135-4263 | 386/586-0257

FlaglerLive.com