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Diana Sallee Dies from Injuries in Monday’s Bike Crash on A1A; First Bike Week Fatality In Flagler

| March 13, 2012

The crash took place by the entrance to Washington Oaks Garden State Park on State Road A1A. Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Update, March 13, 9:30 p.m.: The Florida Highway Patrol this evening reported that Diana Sallee, the woman involved in a three-vehicle crash on Monday on State Road A1A, succumbed to her injuries at Halifax Hospital. She was pronounced dead Tuesday evening at 7:10 p.m. There had been numerous unconfirmed reports that she had died earlier.

The FHP’s accident report, which can be downloaded here, has been posted below the images at the foot of the article.

March 12–The last time Tommy Sallee came to Bike Week with his parents, Billy and Diana Sallee, goes back to 2000. He vaguely remembers it: he was 4 years old. The family hadn’t taken a full-fledged vacation since, Tommy, now 16, says–until this week, when the family drove down from Neosho, in southwest Missouri, towing a 1989 South Tail Springer Harley.

They were staying with Rick Kirtley, a friend in Jacksonville, and delayed coming down to Bike Week because the Harley needed $320 worth of work in the last couple of days. Monday, finally, they rode down: Kirtley on his 2007 Harley, with Tommy as his rider, and Billy and Diana on their bike.

They were traveling south on State Road A1A. Kirtley was in front. He was approaching the entrance to Washington Oaks Garden State Park. It was about 1 p.m. today. Bright, sunny, cloudless.

A GMC Suburban, tan and white, with Catherine Meagher, 70, at the wheel and Helen Purvey, 52, in the passenger seat, had stopped or was rolling to a stop to make a left off A1A, toward the coastal scrub habitat of Washington Oaks by the beach. (Meagher is from Excelsior, Minn., Purvey is from Eden Prairie, Minn.)

Kirtley doesn’t remember seeing the Suburban’s break lights or its turn signal. “By the time I realized he was sitting there to make a left turn, I put on my brakes,” Kirtley said. Billy, 38, who was piloting his Harley, may not have seen him slow down. “He clipped me before I could go to the left,” Kirtley said. The saddlebag on Kirtley’s bike was ripped from its sockets. The left side of the Sallees’ bike then hit the right-most side of the Suburban.

The tail-light was smashed and the exhaust pipe was bent from the force of an impact. The crash report stated that “due to her being thrown off the motorcycle, [Diana Sallee] slid on the roadway and stopped underneath the rear of the stopped” Suburban.

One of the two riders hit the back of the truck itself, and fell, a Florida Highway Patrol investigator at the scene had said. That would have been Diana.

Tommy looked back almost at the moment of impact, after he remembered himself swerving as the bike he was riding traveled a few dozen feet further south. “The bike flipped up and everything shattered,” he said. “That’s when I took off my helmet and ran as fast as I could.”

“She was non-responsive, he was OK,” Kirtley said, “he had road rash on his leg, looked like one of his left fingers was broken.”

Billy was taken to Florida Hospital Flagler by ground. Diana, 39, was taken to Halifax Hospital by Flagler County Fire Rescue Fire Flight, according to FHP. There was a report, unconfirmed, that Diana, too, was taken to Halifax by ground.

“The female is extremely critical,” the FHP investigator said.

The wreck took place just after 1 p.m. Shirtly afterward, A1A in both directions was shut down. It remains, as of 2:38 p.m., down to one lane, with traffic backed up in both directions and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office directing traffic. A Florida Highway Patrol’s homicide investigator is at the scene.

“They were staying with me up in Jacksonville,” Kirtley, 65, said, “and we were on our way to Daytona–taking the scenic route.”

Points of impact on the Suburban. Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Billy and Diana Sallee's Harley, after authoritis righted it, at the point where it came to rest. Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view.

Tommy Sallee, sitting by the Washington Oaks sign, is just 16. Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Traffic backed up considerably, swelled by riders going down to Bike Week in Daytona Beach. Click on the image for larger view.

Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (FlaglerLive)

Download Diana Sallee accident report, FHP

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36 Responses for “Diana Sallee Dies from Injuries in Monday’s Bike Crash on A1A; First Bike Week Fatality In Flagler”

  1. dark says:

    The Female Pt. (Diana) was taken to Florida Hospital Flager by ground to be stabilized for transport. After she was stabilized she was taken by Fireflight from FHF to halifax.

    • anonomous says:

      I am a long time family friend and we are all devastated. Dianna is still critical and all the family is on way to Florida…please keep this family in prayers.

  2. knowsalittle says:

    Prayers for the family and rider.

  3. Ben Dover says:

    Will say a prayer for all involved,especially Diana, no way to start a vacation, hopefully this bike week is safer then bike weeks past , unfortunately most of the events take place in and behind bars , I admit, have gone down enjoyed great music , good food ,and good people , but every year for some families, it ends horribly,I hope everyone that reads and posts on this site prays for a safe week , these first two accidents had nothing to do with drinking , lets pray we don`t read about anymore that do , its defintely a deadly combination

  4. roco says:

    My thoughts and prayers will be with Diana. People do not use their directional lights 90% of the time, including law inforcement people who should be setting an example..

  5. The dreaded “left turn” accident described in this story is responsible for more deaths and dismemberments than any other type of motorcycle accident. The drivers making a left turn have a blind eye for oncoming motorcycles, day or night. They just don’t see the bikers coming and turn left into their path. They blame the accidents on speeding bikers…but that is not the cause…and jurors are so prejudiced against bikers they sometimes buy the speeding defense. Best way to win a left turn case is to get others who witnessed the accident to provide the investigating officers with their contact information.

    Alaska has its annual salmon run. Daytona has biker runs, and attorneys who claim to be “specialists” in biker accidents rake in the injured bikers just like Kodiak bears rake in salmon. It has been estimated that bikers annually costs Halifax Hospital $500,000 or more in medical and hospital care. That cannot begin to touch the lifetime costs for caring for a brain damaged biker which can run into the millions.

    • Rob says:

      The way I read this story, the Suburban had slowed to make a left turn and the motorcycle hit the rear of the vehicle.

  6. knowsalittle says:

    Based on what I read in the story, the car was stopped and the bikes hit the back of the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle does not seem to be at fault in this incident, maybe just a couple of bikers who did not see the vehicle stopped waiting to make a left turn.

  7. Jim N says:

    Phil reread the article. The SUV and the bikers were all headed south. The Suv slowed or stopped to make a turn. The SUV was run into by the bikers who failed to stop or slow. I understand what you were saying, but it does not apply in this case. I hope the injured are able to fully heal. Riding a Motorcycle comes with risks and requires full attention of the riders. Too many do not realize or appreciate this.

  8. Ben Dover says:

    Seems in this case the bikers ran into the back of the truck not realizing it was stopping , the truck didn`t turn into their path, I`m sure the sun made it hard to see the directional or the brake lights , just an unfortunate accident , hopefully Diana will be ok

    • Anonymous says:

      Look twice for 4 wheeled vehicles.

      • Lisa says:

        Amen to that…. Bikers are almost all defensive drivers. This is because people in 4 wheeled vehicles don’t pay attention to what they are doing. They are to busy reading their e-mail, twitters, facebooking, texting or on the phone or listening to something on the radio. Pretty much everything but paying attention to their driving. This is not to say that we bikers don’t get distracted but we don’t have the protection that non bikers have. So we tend to pay more attention to what is going on around us. I know that Billy is a responsible experienced rider . The other rider states he doesn’t remember seeing any brake lights or turn signals so who knows – where they even working at the time of the accident.

  9. knowsalittle says:

    So sorry to hear this awful news. RIP.

  10. JL says:

    I’m so sorry for Diane’s family and friends for their loss. It is just a sad tragedy and happens to anyone. RIP

  11. Jim J says:

    In this case the bikers ran into the back of the truck not realizing it was stopping , the truck didn`t turn into their path.

    Biker’s need to abidwe the rules of road – just like everyone else

  12. Jana DiNatale says:

    Hope they are are okay! Terrible!

  13. Meg says:

    I hope you people realize that this woman lost her life. This husband lost his wife and kids their mother. This family is hurting. What if you were in her daughter’s shoes or her 6 year old son’s shoes. It’s not any of your places to pass judgement on a good family that’s never harmed you.

  14. Jackie Brimhall Hutchins via Facebook says:

    Sad, RIP

  15. Colleen Walsh Conklin via Facebook says:

    So, so sad!

  16. Kimberly Weiland via Facebook says:

    Breaks my heart and I didn’t even know them

  17. Bethany DeVore via Facebook says:

    So sad. Praying for the families.

  18. dang it ,i was hopeing and praying everything was going to be ok ,heard all the resue squads and heli,rip biker girl diana

  19. Diarmuid Con via Facebook says:

    awww no ;( so sad… RIP Prayers go out to the Friends and Family <3

  20. Karen Dyer Carter via Facebook says:

    This is so sad. I was hoping she would be ok.

  21. robin says:

    Billy Im so sorry man……. Diane you are going to be missed so much.Devon Tommy and little man may god be with you and your family through this difficult time.My heart crys for you

  22. Ben Dover says:

    Damn , so sorry Diana didn`t make it, its a very sad day for family and friends ,I pray they find the strength to get through this, another woman just lost her arm in another motorcycle accident , this happens every year , while I understand its fun and helps the local economy is it really worth it, year in and year out twice a year people come here for bike week and biketoberfest and lives are lost, I guess its just like alcohol and cigarettes the two biggest killers in the world, if the powers that be make money off it , then the hell with who it kills , its a sad world we live in.

  23. just a thought says:

    It’s a good thing we have Flagler Live because our local print news, who now has an office in our County, didn’t even have a brief on this tragedy. Thank you Flagler Live.

  24. DC3 says:

    I would like to preface this by saying this is a terrible tragedy. Thoughts and prayers to all family and friends. Had they been in a car (wearing seatbelts), and rear ended the other vehicle, there most likely would NOT have been a fatality. Motorcycles are just plain dangerous!

    • John says:

      To tell everyone what YOU would have done and what they should have done is not going to help its to late for that. No matter what happened she is still a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend to many people and we need to show our support for the family. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I know that you will make it through this.

  25. Anonymous says:

    @Ben – Bike Week is not just for helping the local economy to prosper. Bikers come here, knowing full well of all the risks involved, in the hopes of having a good time. No need to make an issue out of something that is just not there. Surfing kills people.. should we end that too? So does crossing at an intersection….

    See what I mean?

    • Ben Dover says:

      No I don`t see what you mean , your putting 100.000 drinking bikers on the road, every event is at a bar , or behind one and every year at least 6 people die, a few yrs back it was 13, 6 people haven`t died surfing in Volusia or Flagler counties in a hundred years , there is no comparison. Surfers arent on the road, falling in water is a lot safer then falling on asphalt at 60 mph

  26. slyfox says:

    Devastating news. My heart felt sympathy to all her family…. I can’t even begin to imagine their sorrow

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