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Tyler Scott Van Balvern, 21, Victim of Fourth Motorcycle Fatality in 7 Weeks On Flagler Roads

| September 25, 2012

The fatal wreck took place almost across from  the Black Cloud Saloon on U.S.1, south of Royal Palms Parkway. Click on the image for larger view.

The fatal wreck took place almost across from the Black Cloud Saloon on U.S.1, south of Royal Palms Parkway. Click on the image for larger view.

Last Updated: Sept. 25

Much is still unknown, or unconfirmed, about the latest road fatality in Flagler County. But on Tuesday, Sept. 25, the Florida Highway Patrol identified the victim as Tyler Scott Van Balvern, 21.

This much is known: around 9:30 Sunday morning (Sept. 23), a man noticed a body in a ditch on the east side of U.S. 1, just north of the Black Cloud Saloon, and some 1,500 feet south of Royal Palms Parkway. It’s not known how long the man, who was in his early 20s, had been dead. When the Florida Highway Patrol investigated the scene, a motorcycle was found almost 40 feet inside the woodline. It would not have been visible to any passers-by. Its lights had been torn off by the force of the wreck.

Van Blavern was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics at 9:50 this morning. The wreck could have happened the evening before or any time during the night, authorities said. An autopsy is being performed on Monday in St. Johns County.

Van Blavern was not wearing a helmet. According to a preliminary investigation, he was traveling faster than the speed limit–but again, how much faster has not been determined. He was traveling north on U.S. 1. He failed to negotiate the curve across the street from the Atlantis strip mall, and headed into the side ditch, for unknown reasons. He was ejected. The motorcycle kept traveling into the woods.

The motorcycle was removed from the scene by John’s Towing just after 1 p.m.

U.S. 1 has been the scene of two other fatalities since Labor Day. That afternoon,  John Melvin, 56, of Bunnell, was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle south of Bunnell. John Michael Robinson, 33, of Palm Coast, was killed in a motorcycle wreck half a mile north of Kankakee Trail. And on On Aug. 1, Pedro Riera, 48, of Palm Coast, was killed when he struck a car with his Harley Davidson on White View Parkway in Palm Coast. Only Riera’s fatality involved another vehicle.

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34 Responses for “Tyler Scott Van Balvern, 21, Victim of Fourth Motorcycle Fatality in 7 Weeks On Flagler Roads”

  1. Bobbie Pereira says:

    We drove by and saw them loading him up :(

  2. Becca Buetow says:

    so sad. my brother in law was killed on his bike. breaks my heart everytime i hear about things like this

  3. I drove that road this am at 0545. It was like pea soup with thick fog. I could barely see where I was going headed South from Whiteview in Palm Coast to US1 and 95. I wonder if that was a major factor?

  4. Ben Dover says:

    I doubt its the same guy , but at about 12:30 am a motorcycle went screaming out of Walmarts parking lot , the guy had to be high on something or drinking to be driving that thing the way he was , I was just starting my truck up when I heard him burning up his tires before he raced out at very high rate of speed, That song from Queen popped into my head …………And another one gone and another one gone ….another one bites the dust………. sad that they just don t get ,that they can be gone in an instant , one wet patch of road , one second of being distracted, that`s all it takes …………….

    • applesandoranges says:

      So true… and yet people who are driving in cars/trucks/etc are getting the BS about watching out for motorcyclists. In my experience, it’s usually the person on the bike that needs to watch out because they are driving the exact same way you have described (peeling out, weaving/swerving, and definitely going to fast and getting out of control). For some reason, a lot (NOT ALL) of bikers tend to ride that way, showing off I guess. I see it all the time and it really ticks me off that we car drivers get the flack for it. That’s why I hate Bike Week and Biketoberfest.

      • Ron says:

        To Applesandoragnes: Notwithstanding what you say is your “experience”, you could not be more off base with your comments. First of all, while I agree that SOME people ride their motorcycles irresponsibly, I would never agree that A LOT do (same with car drivers). Secondly, studies have shown time and time again, that the NUMBER ONE cause of car vs. motorcycle accidents is due to a car making a left hand turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. That’s why we ask car drivers to please “watch out for motorcycles”.

  5. BeachGuy says:

    Dear Family, thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. Dear Florida, if I have to wear a seat belt while driving a car, motorcyclists need to wear helmets while riding their motorcycles.

  6. Geezer says:

    Who doesn’t like a nice Harley or vintage Indian motorcycle?
    They really are works of art and I gawk at them.
    I’d love one……but I wouldn’t drive it much.

    Today’s roads are populated by inattentive cellphone talkers and texters.
    If you survive that, you still have to deal with deer, loose gravel and numerous
    sudden road hazards.

    I am sorry to hear of this latest fatality.

  7. Mario DiGirolamo says:

    Does it really surprise anyone that there are motorcycle fatalities? I’m amazed there aren’t more. I’m amazed there aren’t more accidents in general the way people drive around here. You take your life in your hands every time you get into a car. I couldn’t imagine driving around on a motorcycle. Protective head gear should be mandatory. Old people should have to be driving qualified every couple years. People with trucks & SUV’s should have to pass courtesy of the road tests. Instead of all these red light camera’s, there should be more cops monitoring for road rage, tailgating, running stop signs, swerving in/out of traffic, illegal u-turns, driving too slow, too fast, etc, etc. It’s like the wild west out there!

    • applesandoranges says:

      I totally agree with you about the driving too slow (as in 15-20 miles under the speed limit). I’m not saying speeding is ok but it is very unsafe to drive that slow under the speed limit, especially on multi-lane roads and the people stuck behind these 25mph’ers get pissed and it leads to road rage. Just do the speed limit, drive carefully and safely, and obey the driving laws.

  8. Ben Blakely says:

    I notice that the Hardley Davidson riders almost universally wear no helmet and no body protection. They dress like they are going out for a casual walk as they ride their bikes.

    Those riders on most other brands wear helmets and jackets for proper protection.

    I can only conclude from my observations that the Hardley Davidson riders are a population of clearly stupid and irresponsible riders. The public ultimately picks up the tab and costs for their deadly child like riding behavior.

    • maryann says:


      Most of the men and women who ride Harley’s are in fact more casual safe riders out for casual rides, or rely on their bikes for transportation. These are not necessarily “speed” bikes and majority of the accidents are for the negligent drivers who are HARDLEY paying attention. “Other” bikes as you may reference them are more or less speed bikes and they wear helmets because they ride them as such. Their choice to not wear helmets is not child like riding behavior, but more your good old fashion American’s who remember what “FREEDOM” is or WAS! I hate to hear what other HARDLEY legitimate observations or prejudices you have. Prayers to this riders family – and yours – you need it.

    • BIKER says:

      I guess even you Ben can figure out from my screen name that I ride a bike. And yeah its a Harley. But!! I stop at red lights.The only comfort I can find in your posts is that you are apparently not traveling in Palm Coast any more due to the big bad red light cameras.Therefore I am a little bit safer already even without my helmet. Lol

    • tammy t says:

      Ben, after i read your commnt. I obviously believe you have something against bikes especially Harley iders,

    • Ron says:


      Your comment that “Hardley (sic) Davidson riders are a population of clearly stupid and irresponsible riders” is not only inaccurate, it is insulting, inane and idiotic.

  9. Reinhold Schlieper says:

    At high speeds, the helmet doesn’t do all that much good; it’s likely to break a neck more than protect a head. I wouldn’t be surprised if a car had swerved in his path, particularly a car with a driver hanging on a cell phone while diddling with the GPS device and listening to music. I think that motorcycle accidents will go down directly proportional to standards for car-driving licenses going up.

    • Sand in My Shoes says:

      Another possibility is that maybe a deer darted out and he swerved to miss it. That happened to a friend of mine & it was not pretty. Thankfully, my friend was spared any life threatening injuries. His passenger though was banged up pretty bad but did fully recover.

  10. Just a thought says:

    I disagree with several comments. I would rather live in a world where adults are allowed to make choices. We should be allowed to ride without a helmet or not wear our seatbelts. Those choices are no different than smoking or eating fatty foods or anything else we are “allowed” to do as adults that may endanger our lives. We are allowed to make bad choices in life and those decisions sometimes are a burden on the masses. I will bet there are more people in the hospital under medicare with smoking related illness than from not wearing a helmet. It’s about government regulation on what we do everyday of our lives. It’s about choices.

    • The Truth says:

      Yes, except for the fact that those who decide to drive without a seatbelt or ride without a seatbelt are being completely inconsiderate of those in the car with them. In case you didn’t realize, a body flying around the inside of a car can become very dangerous to the other passengers.

      Take some time and watch this video (be warned, it can be very gruesome to many):

      I have no objection to those who choose to ride a motorcycle without a helmet as that is not endangering anyone’s life but their own. The seatbelt law I completely agree with as it’s very dangerous to all of those around them.

      • Nancy N. says:

        If someone dies from an accident riding without a helmet, that can have consequences on the other driver as well. If they die from an accident riding helmetless that they might have survived with a helmet, and the other driver ends up facing charges for the accident….well, that increases the charges to homicide from injury.

        If you want to commit suicide, please don’t drag me into it. Thanks.

  11. PC Rider says:

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. I fatality is bad enough, 4 is tragic. What I would like to know, did all 4 of these riders have motorcycle license and did they all go through the safety courses to get their license? I also would like to know if alcohol played a role in any of these unfortunate accidents. Maybe Flagler live can do a follow up story about this.

  12. jake says:

    ben. my dad rides a harley and he wears a helmet and a jacket and jeans and boots everytime he rides.

  13. Ben Dover says:

    I did forget to send my sympathies to the family , I know how hard it is losing a family member , I do not know how the accident happened , I can attest to the early morning fog on US1 being compared to pea soup , as for the guy in Walmarts parking lot , he was on a crotch rocket, it definately was not a Harley, and I know for a fact that people with these bikes drive much more carelessly then your Harley riders , I`ve seen them popping wheelies on I 95 as well as Belle Terre. However this accident happened ,I pray he didn t suffer , I hope he`s in a better place , and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends .

  14. Chris says:

    Prayers going out to his family (Blood and Biker) I’m sure the fog was a factor. May he R.I.P.

  15. Geezer says:

    This is the reality of life, joy and sadness.
    “In every life some rain must fall.”

    RIP Tyler. You were too young to depart from this life.

    May Tyler’s friends and family find strength during this terrible time.
    I now that I am not alone expressing my deepest sympathies.

    • Tammi says:

      Tyler is my nephew , my sister is his mother. I would like to thank the ones who have left kind comments.
      Accidents happen, that’s why they are called accidents. Tyler’s family and friends are very distraught over his death. Please do not leave any negative comments . I know that he is in a much better place now, but do you think he was ready to leave here? He was only 21.

  16. BeachGuy says:

    I understand the “helmets may break necks” argument, but seatbelts may pin you in the car, unable to escape a fiery crash, or being crushed. So, if I want to go without wearing a seatbelt because I feel I’d be better off if I was actually thrown from the car….then I should be entitled to do so, especially if bikers can ride without a helmet because they feel it is safer.

  17. Gina Juarez says:

    rest in peace Tyler, you will be missed and always loved, cousin

  18. Katie says:

    Tyler was a wonderful person and leaves behind so many people that love him. This is a tragic accident and it saddens me to read most of the comments on this page. Most of you clearly have no compassion and no clue… it is amazing that this young man lost his life and all you can do is talk poorly of motorcycle riders. Tyler will be missed so much, he had a huge heart and a smile that would light up any room. My prayers go out to all of his family and friends. RIP Tyler

  19. Lisa Van Balveren Hudson says:

    Tyler was, is, my son. It has taken me a week to come back to this article out of fear of re-reading what we already know, and saw at the scene. But I was pulled back here… and
    First….. I would like to thank those of you who have offered your condolences, prayers, thoughts, etc. to our family during this time. I don’t think there are enough words to describe what I, among the rest of us, are going through right now. So for your thoughts, I, we, thank you.
    Second….. Some of your comments are a bit, if not outright, inconsiderate. I’m sure there are many other places online to share your thoughts on bikers, irresponsible drivers, etc. But where there was a loss of life, my son’s life, and three others just in this area, this wasn’t the place to do it. My son sometimes wore a helmet, he was on a harley, owned a crotchrocket, he was not wearing a helmet in this crash that killed him, nor would a helmet have saved his life. His neck and back were broken upon impact. That was the cause of death. I worked for an insurance company for 23 years and saw my fair share of accident fatalities. So while I agree that helmets DO save lives, one would not have saved Tyler’s life. And while my husband also owns a touring bike, is a responsible rider, he will not get on it without a helmet, nor would he ever let anyone else on it without one.

    and finally….. to the other families who may have read this article — who lost their loved one in one of the other accidents….. Bless your hearts, I am feeling your pain. I am so sorry for your losses. I am numb, sad, devastated, and angry. I have only 21 years of memories with my son, though he is in my heart, he will no longer be in my arms. I cannot hold him, touch him, or speak to him, in the physical sense.

    Bless you Tyler, I love you. I miss you. And I wish you all the best on this, your next journey, as you fly up high soaring in the clouds with your hawks…… Be well my son.

  20. Sad says:

    I think of Tyler everyday. I had seen him once before and he introduced himself to me, as Hands, on the night he passed. Before he left, he came up and gave me a hug. He was so sweet. I told him the same thing I tell every biker….RIDE SAFE. My husband is an avid biker and I pray for his safety always. My heart goes out to you Lisa. Tyler was a sweet boy and I only wish I knew him better.

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