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Two Motorcyclists Killed in Head-On Collision on A1A South of Varn Park

| July 1, 2019

First responders and the Florida Highway Patrol at the scene of the crash between two motorcyclists on A1A in the Hammock this evening. (c FlaglerLive)

First responders and the Florida Highway Patrol at the scene of the crash between two motorcyclists on A1A in the Hammock this evening. (c FlaglerLive)

Two motorcyclists were killed in a head-on collision on State Road A1A in the Hammock this evening, just south of Varn Park–in nearly the very same location of a crash that resulted in two deaths three years ago, and in similar circumstances.


According to a Florida Highway Patrol investigator at the scene, one motorcyclist going north was attempting to pass a vehicle and, not seeing the other motorcyclist in the opposite direction, crashed into him. (The northbound motorcyclist was 70, from Palm Coast. The southbound motorcyclist was 65, from Lake Mary. As of 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, an FHP spokesman claims next-of-kin notification had still not been made, and did not release the names.)

Both motorcyclists are men. One of them was reportedly killed immediately. The other had a pulse for a while but labored breathing, and died soon after. Neither was wearing a helmet, an FHP report subsequently noted.

The crash took place at 8:30 p.m. on a relatively straight stretch of A1A just north of Beverly Beach, near 3250 North Oceanshore Boulevard.

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the Flagler Beach Fire Department and Flagler County Fire Rescue were rapidly at the scene, soon after joined by a Florida Highway Patrol investigator and Palm Coast Fire Police. FHP is in charge of the traffic homicide investigation.

The driver of the vehicle one of the motorcyclists was attempting to pass was at the scene until about 9:30 p.m., when she drove away from the scene, going south. A rescue unit then left. That witness was one of about five witnesses FHP was interviewing.

“She saw the other motorcyclist coming southward and she said, ‘Oh my goodness, they’re going to hit,'” the FHP investigator said, “and sure enough, they hit head-on.” The motorcyclist going north was attempting to pass at least two vehicles, witnesses reported, and had been speeding.

The scene of the crash was almost in the very same spot that was the scene of the last crash that took two lives on the barrier island in Flagler–the March 2016 crash that took the lives of Kathleen J. Boos, 66, and her brother-in-law, Carl Boos, 67, in circumstances very similar, except that William G. Schwarz, who was speeding as he was attempting to pass cars, was at the wheel of a vehicle when he triggered the head-on crash involving the Boos. Schwarz was drunk. He was sentenced to life in prison last June.

Traffic was shut down on A1A in both directions, at Camino del Mar at the north end and at N. 23rd Street in Flagler Beach at the south end (with the Flagler Beach Fire Police manning that roadblock), except for local traffic. The road is expected to be closed for several hours, for the duration of the investigation.

Other than a medically-related crash in mid-June on State Road 100 that resulted in a fatality, all three other traffic fatalities this year have been motorcycle crashes. Tonight’s deaths are the fourth and fifth motorcycle-related fatalities this year.

Investigators at the scene. (© FlaglerLive)

Investigators at the scene. (© FlaglerLive)

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39 Responses for “Two Motorcyclists Killed in Head-On Collision on A1A South of Varn Park”

  1. Lisa Kay Cook says:

    I watched this horrific accident unfold. I was heading north on A1A and motorcycle came up behind me- Another motorcyclist from the north, was passing at same time. They collided and it was horrible. I cannot articulate how it feels to witness something like this. I pulled my car over, ran to man down. I knew he was dead. I covered him up with a white blanket that was in my trunk. Its hours after this accident and my car is still there for investigation and I cannot sleep. Prayers for their fsmilies.

  2. Deborah Coffey says:

    This is terribly saddening. But, reading through the entire article, I finally got to the part where William Schwarz was sentenced to life in prison for driving while drunk and causing deaths. Justice served. So, why is Trump not brought to court for charges of rape, human rights violations at the southern border, obstruction of justice, money laundering for the Russians, getting rid of every top tier scientist in America, etc.? He’s killing people while not drunk. Like any other person, he should be arrested and tried in courts of law.

  3. Richard says:

    Not obeying the speed limits plus acting REALLY stupid on your motorcycle will eventually get you killed. Unfortunately this idiot took the life of another person who quite likely was following the laws. Too bad he didn’t head on a Mack Truck instead.

  4. Ed Walsh says:

    I believe that Flagler is to blame for this accident.There should be no passing on this portion of A1A.Due to the fact most drive ways have a terrible incline do you have to come to a complete stop to go in.I see trucks passing 5 cars heading north on A1A going into south bound Lane 10 time’s a day.We need solid yellow lines in this area.

  5. oldtimer says:

    What does Trump have to do with this story?

  6. Concerned Citizen says:

    I am sorry people have lost their lives in what could have been avoidable.

    I drive a lot for my job and mostly in the local area. Time and time again I see motorcycle drivers do stupid and illegal things. You see them weave in and out of traffic and driving on the lines. They pass with scant clearance and will cut someone of without a second thought. Most of the time at high speed. And I’ve lost count of the ones that roll thru a red light or stop sign because they have to put their feet down to stop.

    We all see the signs that say look twice save a life. We all see the campaigns that say share the road with bikers. Yet it seems that bikers are just as guilty as most vehicle drivers in disrespectful driving. And why does Law Enforcement in the area never address motorcycle infractions? Are they told to leave them alone? I have lived in Flagler 20 plus years and have never seen a motorcycle pulled over. Especially during bike week.

    The rules of the road apply to all. Respect and courtesy apply to all. If you get on or behind the wheel of a motor vehicle you are responsible for it’s safe operation and the safety of those around you. If we all took the time to be a little more respectful and safe we would see a lot less accidents like this.

    @ Deborah Coffey

    What in the world does Trump have to do with a local fatal motorcycle accident?

  7. discernible says:

    I am so sorry to hear of this tragedy. My prayers go out to all involved and their families. Lisa Kay Cook if you don’t have someone you can talk to please don’t hesitate to call the crisis hotline to share your feelings: (800) 539-4228. What you’ve seen is not easily forgotten.

  8. Eric R says:

    To Deborah: How the H can anyone politicize the tragic death of these two men. Shameful! Typical left wing wackadoodle!

  9. Jd says:

    The innocent biker was my friend. Very sad. But why are you making this political. No evidence against Trump but hard evidence against the Clintons and comey ,yet they get to walk. Let’s just focus on the tragedy at hand. I lost a dear sweet friend due to carelessness on another’s part.

  10. ShovelRider69 says:

    Two people have just lost their lives due to a horrific accident. Out of respect for those two souls , their families and those who witnessed this tragedy this should not be a platform for your political views.

  11. K says:

    Lisa, I’m so sorry for the horrific scene you witnessed, last night. One of the riders was a good friend and a great man. He will be missed by so many. The only comfort is knowing that he is at home in the arms of Jesus. He was a man of strong faith. Thank you for your compassion. I pray that you will find peace and comfort in the days (and months) ahead, after such a painful experience. I pray, too, for the families of both riders.

    So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
    2 Corinthians 4:18 | NIV

  12. Nulldog6 says:

    Please leave politics out of this! This accident has absolutely nothing to do with Trump!

  13. Just me says:

    I agree Ed. This should be a no passing zone. I drive it every day and the speeding traffic with pedestrians crossing at the campgrounds and cars turning for the beach… too dangerous.

  14. gmath55 says:

    @ Deborah Coffey – Subject: is about two Motorcyclists Killed and you talking about Trump? LOL

    Why should you care about Trump when Ocasio-Cortez: says The WORLD IS GOING TO END In 12 YEARS!

  15. mark101 says:

    @Deborah Coffey. People have been driving drunk and texting way before Trump took office. I’m not a Trump supported, but this has squat to do with Trump. This county lost two of its citizens. And right now we do not know the details.

  16. Concerned Citizen says:

    @ Ed Walsh

    No sir. The only one to blame for this accident is the one who passed a vehicle and didn’t pay attention. When are we going to hold people responsible for their own actions?

    This tragic accident wasn’t the result of Trump,Economics, Weather or Road conditions. Someone unfortunatley made a bad choice and paid the ultimate penalty. Unfortunatley he took someone with him doing it.

  17. Bonnie says:

    I guess I don’t get what President Trump has to do with such a sad accident. So sorry for the families.

  18. Flabergasted says:

    Sending prayer to these 2 families. I can’t even imagine the pain. And to the driver who witnessed it, I hope in time you will find some peace.

    Deborah Coffrey….So NOT the time or place for your political Trump bashing. This is a terrible accident and your comment is total Disrespect to the families. wow!

  19. jim says:

    hey DEBORAH… way to go waaaay off topic!!! stick to the story at hand and when a political story comes up you can talk about EVERYTHING FOR EVERYBODY IN THE COUNTRY WILL BE FREEEEEE!!!

  20. Lisa Kay Cook says:

    Yes! Totally agree. I find that after the 25 mph all through Flagler Beach, folks speed and pass in this area. Perhaps they will have a look at this-

  21. cruiser33 says:

    Tragic and unfortunate accident. Prayers go out to both families.. But for the life of me Ms. Deborah Coffey what has MR. TRUMP have to do with this horrific accident? You must be a very left wing democrat to bring politics into such a sad event. Get your head out of your butt and act like a true American. I think you owe both families an apology for your stupid comment

  22. Peter Petropulos says:

    Deborah, please keep your political agenda to yourself . This was a horrible accident with 2 lives lost and nothing to do with politics. If you want to have a voice pray for these family’s

  23. Kim Yates says:

    Not to mention people that pass on the ‘right of way’ when you are trying to turn…. they come rushing up behind you and Wiz around on the right side between your car and the mailboxes . It happens every day on A1A constantly.. putting people on bicycles and people turning in front of you going opposite direction In Harm’s Way. I have not seen one ticket given for this I think people think it’s legal !!!!! My heart goes out to these motorcyclists as well.
    SLOW DOWN get on ISLAND TIME !!

  24. Outside Looking Out says:

    @ Deborah Coffey…
    Today two families are grieving. Today two families are having to face the fact that they will never see their loved ones again taken from them suddenly and unexpectedly. Today two sets of parents, perhaps wives, children, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, family and friends are enveloped in a sadness many of us can’t even imagine. Two families have to identify their dead and then make the dreaded arrangements with a funeral director, arrangements that; quite possibly, they can”t even fathom.
    “This is terribly saddening”, you said. I think one must be capable of realizing sadness and intelligent enough to comprehend empathy. To use a tragedy such as this to promote one’s political agenda is in very poor taste, in fact, I consider it disgusting. There is a time and place for such discussion and this is neither the time nor the place.
    These families deserve our help, our love and comfort and our prayers.

  25. Bc. says:

    I live in painters hill on A1A I see cars all day long speeding and passing in a no passing zone I never see a car pulled over by police they come through here 60-70 mph. We need some traffic enforcement out here once in a while

  26. hawkeye says:

    I feel bad for the person who lost their lifes family, and angry that someone would bring politics into this,so
    sad .deborah coffey ,you should be ashamed of yourself.

  27. Sarah S. says:

    My husband, three daughters, and I were traveling North bound on A1A. We witnessed the accident up close. We were approximately 2 cars behind when it happened. I don’t think I will ever get the sight of those motor cycles colliding out of my mind! Nor will my kids! This is the most horrific thing we have ever witnessed!! My husband and I immediately stopped our car and jumped out. He ran to stop oncoming traffic and quickly dialed 911. I ran over to the gentleman heading southbound to see if there was anything I could do? There was smoke coming out of his motorcycle and I was terrified that it was going to catch on fire! I didn’t know what to do! I’ve never felt so helpless in my whole life!! A younger guy came running down the street to help. He asked if anyone had a towel to put pressure on his wound? I grabbed the beach towel from my car. Other people showed up to try to help!! I know police and fire got there really fast but… it felt like forever!!
    We just kept telling him to hold on help was on the way. I don’t know if he was aware or not of what was happening? We told him he wasn’t alone we were there with him to just hang on!! We said the Lord’s Prayer for him and a lot of silent prayers too!
    The police allowed us to walk our kids from the scene. My heart goes out to this gentleman’s family!! You are in our prayers!!

  28. Sharon says:

    Omg Richard
    What is wrong with you. 2people lost their life and have family that will see this, your timing and compassion is nonexistent. Yes it was not the right choice on one of the riders but seriously your comment did not help….and I knew one of the men and it’s sad his children and close friends will miss a wonderful man.

  29. Laurie Dee says:

    Keep your political views out of this!!! Two men died tonight have some respect!!!!

  30. anon says:

    The innocent motorcyclist was the father of one of my good friends, and I’m so sad that this happened to his family. The pain that that family is going through right now, all because of an accident that happened so suddenly, it’s so tragic and I wish I could do more for them.

  31. Sharon says:

    ANON
    IT IS VERY SAD FOR BOTH FAMILIES AND ALL THE FRIENDS WHO LOVED THEM….

  32. S says:

    We must pay respects to both men. It is a sad accident. From what Lisa wrote it looks as if both parties were trying to pass at the same time? If that is the case, it was most likely miscalculations from both of them not even seeing each other until it was too late. It is sad, we will mourn both but placing blame and bashing people isn’t the right way at all.

  33. Kimber says:

    Dear Sarah S. Thank you for what you did at the accident he was a very dear friend of mine my heart breaks reading your words telling him he was not alone and saying the Lord’s Prayer. He will be missed by many he was such a great man. I’m sorry you had to see it happen but grateful you were there with him. Thank you.

  34. CB from PC says:

    LAW ENFORCEMENT NEEDS TO TICKET MOTORISTS PASSING IN NO PASSING ZONES.
    SAW 4 CASES LAST WEEKEND ON PINE LAKES PARKWAY.
    LAW ENFORCEMENT NEEDS TO STEP UP ENFORCEMENT OF
    MOTORISTS SPEEDING, RUNNING RED LIGHTS AND STOP SIGNS.
    Sad to say, but until Prison time is given out to motorists who cause EITHER injury or death while breaking traffic laws, this will continue.
    RIP fellow rider.

  35. Ellen says:

    It is heartbreaking to lose someone in such a tragic accident…my friend was the gentle soul who was heading home, southbound on A1A when he was killed by another biker trying to pass two cars. I am still in shock. I keep thinking about this tragedy several times per day…it brings home the truth that we all need to live in the present moment, and be grateful when we wake up to live another day. You will be missed, but not forgotten. May your wonderful wife and family find the strength to carry on.

  36. Jayne eversen says:

    Firstly, let me say this is very sad.

    I have just moved on to A1A, and I can’t how many cars pass each other.
    The state or county should make A1A a no passing zone.
    The speed should also be dropped.
    I am amazed the state allows this.

  37. Kathy F says:

    Sarah S and Lisa Kay Cook I was with you the night the terrible accident occurred. I can still see each one of you and how you cared for the gentleman. I have tried to find out how to contact his family ( FHP) and tell them we were with him and that he was not alone and did not seem to be suffering. Everyone was so kind and respectful and I can still hear our voices as we prayed out loud The Lord’s Prayer and reassured him that he was not alone. I have written to a family member in Lake Mary but my message came back unread.
    Thank you for being there and my heart goes out to the families and friends of both of the men who died that night.

  38. Kathy Falcon says:

    Please give my e mail to the people who were at the accident. I was there.
    I have a condo in Palm Coast and was on my was home after dinner with a friend Monday night.

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