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David Brown, 55, of Palm Coast, Killed in Motorcycle Wreck on Deadly Stretch of U.S. 1

| December 4, 2012

The motorcycle shot through the back of a camper parked 30 feet off the road and lodged itself inside. The victim was catapulted above the camper. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: 7:55 a.m.

David Brown, a 55-year-old Palm Coast resident, was killed at 10 p.m. Monday when he lost control of his motorcycle on a notoriously deadly curve on U.S. 1, just south of the intersection with Belle Terre Boulevard and north of County Road 304.

No other vehicles were involved, aside from the parked camper the motorcycle struck. The victim, failing to negotiate the curve–it is very dark at that point, and the moon hadn’t yet risen–swerved off the road, rode through grass and sand, hit a rut, and was catapulted almost 118 feet beyond that point, his body vaulting over a 30-foot camper parked well off the road. The motorcycle, a 2006 model 3072LD Harley Davidson, rammed into the back of the camper and sank several feet into it. It was unrecognizable, in a mess of twisted metals and the camper’s own materials. The camper had been parked there for sale, for a little over $3,000, according to an adjacent homeowner.

Brown had been riding south when he reached the stretch of U.S. 1 colloquially known as Dead Man’s Corner or Triple-A Curve: it’s been the scene of numerous fatalities over the years, including the June 2010 truck wreck that claimed the lives of Brandy Bennett and Amanda Copeland, both 19. Their memorial crosses were across the road from where the body of Monday night’s victim came to a rest, against a hedge.

Brown had not been wearing a helmet.

Several Florida Highway Patrol investigators, including a homicide investigator, were at the scene of the wreck, trying to reconstruct what had taken place. They had not determined why the victim swerved off the road, though speed may have been a factor. It was 182 feet from the point where Brown left the road, and the point at which the motorcycle struck the camper (which was well off the road, about 30 feet to the right of the white line, in the dirt). The motorcycle tumbled several times between those points, according to the FHP report.

Randy German, a 42-year-old property owner of the house that sits along the curve, deep behind a yard protected by several trees, heard the crash. “I was inside, I could hear him coming, I told the cops,” German said, “it sounded like two motorcycles to me, but he was–I could hear the RPMs, he was hitting the reds, wham whaam whaaam, and all of a sudden”–German makes crashing sounds–“I heard the big boom.”

German ran to the victim. “He had a light pulse,” he said, “but he passed away probably within five or seven minutes. There was another couple down there, they didn’t want to touch him. I’m kind of used to, you know–because I’m the one who found the other girl underneath the truck.” He was referring to the 2010 wreck, though he’s seen many others, and dozens of non-fatal wrecks. “We’ve seen them all, man,” he said. “When it’s a light rain, just sit on the porch with a glass of lemonade. You’ll see a crash.”

Monday night was dry and clear. Traffic was light.

Flagler County Fire Rescue responded to the call, and pronounced the man dead at the scene. The Palm Coast Fire Police closed one of the two southbound lanes as FHP investigators worked. Unites of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office also responded. John’s Towing was the tower on FHP’s rotation. The wrecker hauled the entire camper from the scene, and would only later extricate the motorcycle from its interior.

The motorcycle lodged itself well inside the camper. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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

The camper was more than 30 feet off the road, parked there for sale. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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

The victim came to rest behind the hedge to the left, 118 feet past the point where the motorcycle struck a rut and catapulted him above and beyond the camper. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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35 Responses for “David Brown, 55, of Palm Coast, Killed in Motorcycle Wreck on Deadly Stretch of U.S. 1”

  1. Ben Dover says:

    They need to replace the tarmac on that curve with concrete and cut some grooves into it , same happened on a curve up north , that was there solution and it worked , not only do the tires bite better one the grooves in the concrete , they pitched it so the rain water ran through them and in the grass, that and some lights would save lives , but is the state smart enough , doubt it , they just tried to fix a curve in Orlando and cars are still wrecking , but then the didn t use concrete with grooves cut into it either

  2. Lonewolf says:

    “You won’t come back from Dead Man’s Curve”
    Jan and Dean

  3. Intheknow says:

    Wondering if he was wearing a helmet.

  4. PJ says:

    Why is that junk allowed to be at the side of the road like that. The biker was wrong it sounds like but that junk should be out of site.

    • B Stone says:

      The trailer has been there for a while and was posted for sale. It was on private property, well off the road. The fact as to whether it was there or not would not have saved the biker’s life. I travel that road all the time, and it appears he was riding at an unsafe speed, and he was not wearing a helmet. People speed on that part of US1 all the time.

    • Nancy N. says:

      If you note the description in the article, the rider never struck the trailer – he sailed right over it like it wasn’t even there. Only his bike hit it.

    • Charles Gardner says:

      The ” junk” is on private property, not on the right of way.

  5. FBGrl says:

    I can’t even imagine the speed involved. Sad regardless…I feel sorry for his loved ones :(

  6. Who Dat says:

    Maybe more lighting in the area and around Flagler County would help but speed kills regardless. Would appear he was moving!

    • Anonymous says:

      People need to be more aware of the speed limits posted. I travel on this road everyday and it almost costed me my live due to a driver going over the posted speed limit not to mention the WRONG WAY!!!! When are motorcycle riders going to realize that wearing a helmet may save your life? Sorry for the the family that has to deal with this tradgedy.

  7. The Truth says:

    First, my thoughts and prayers with the victim and his family.

    Next, this curve is a problem because of the drivers in the area. We can come up with all the names we want, say we need more lighting, grooves in the road, etc. What it comes down to is if people drive the speed limit these accidents will happen much less frequently (if at all). This accident was late at night, barely anyone on the road. It’s not a matter of getting cut off by another driver or anything like that. I do suppose it could be an animal that was attempting to cross the road that caused him to swerve, but regardless, if we drive the speed limit and stop paying attention to other things like our phones that many accidents can be avoided.

    Pay attention, drive the speed limit and save a life (most likely yours).

    Drive safe everyone.

  8. Broccoli Rob says:

    The poor man…. My sympathies to all who were close to him.

  9. manstersr says:

    It says in the article he wasn’t wearing a helmet. Too bad, I don’t know what his injuries were but it could have given him a chance. I’m a rider of over 30yrs. and always wear a full face helmet even on my little trail bike. I may not look cool but I’d rather not have my face ripped off or skull cracked open like a coconut. Florida made a huge mistake repealing the helmet law. We have to wear seat belts in cars and helmets on bicycles but no helmet on motorcycles, I don’t understand the logic to that. Too many people think they’ll be fine without wearing one. Fellow riders, listen to the pros, wear your gear. You never know when you are going to end up on the ground. I’ve had my close calls hitting sand and gravel where I’d never expect to. My condolences for Mr. Brown’s family.

  10. His Nephew says:

    This is my Uncle David. He loved riding his bike… Yes, he should have been wearing a helmet – but we are so very sad he died this way. He has two older children – both married. He was a very loved person.

  11. Alex says:

    WHY DID HE SPEED????? Is the speed limit not high enough???????

    • Angie says:

      What kind of a stupid, insensitive question is that? There has been no proof of speeding. That has only been an accusation. Have a little compasion and sympathy. It is not like he can go back and correct anything. Accidents happen all the time. I am sure you are not accident free. This was my cousin. He was a very good loving man. His place is definately in heaven.

  12. glad fly says:

    sad. the bermuda triangle claims another life. my best to the family. three miles north and south of bunnell is absolutely scary.

  13. Widower says:

    I lost my husband just on the other side of Belle Terre not that long ago. I also agree that helmets should be mandatory. My deepest condolonces to the family. My prayers go out to you.

  14. Lisa Imperatore says:

    My heart goes out to his family!

  15. Rocky Mac says:

    Route 1 South from the 95 overpass near the Agricultural Museum through to Bunnell is notorious for speeders. Just yesterday a pick up sped past me. He was out of sight in no time. I was doing 60. To the sheriff and deputies: why not sit behind a tree on this dangerous road instead of Old Kings Road near the bowling ally? How many fatalities have there been along this road? I wish someone could explain this to me. Sorry for the loss.

    • Edward says:

      I drive US-1 daily, from Bunnell to Ormond Beach to jump on 95S. More often than not, the wrecks I see are from people trying to cross US-1 to go south. They apparently don’t understand that the limit is 65 in most places and go too slowly. I lost my 2006 G6 GTP (thankfully not my life) because some old woman was trying to cross to the southbound side of US-1 at Old Dixie Highway while I was traveling north. Point is, a lot of times it’s not excessive speed that is the cause of accidents. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had been doing 20 MPH or 80, we still would have wrecked because she didn’t even look for me.

      Another thing to look a is it doesn’t matter what the posted limit is, you have people who are going to ignore it. Can’t say as I blame them either. So long as you know what you’re doing and have complete control of your car, there should be no issue. The problem comes up when people DON’T have complete control of their vehicle and it leads to deaths like these. Sorry to the family for the loss, but unless there’s something I’m missing, this looks like a case of a guy who was not in control of the situation. No amount of speed traps or lower posted limits is going to fix that. Just need smarter drivers.

  16. Ben Dover says:

    My deepest sympathies to his family and friends , I hope God is with them through this holiday season , stay close to each other, it helps.

  17. GoodFella says:

    Helmets help but are not the only answer. Drivers need to pay more attention to bikers and bikers need to respect their rides. Ride the speed limit and pay attention. The only comment that bothered me was the drinking a glass of lemonaide and sitting on the porch bit. How rude to say that, mocking an accident is not right. The road is fine as long as you respect it.

  18. Jimmie and Willy says:

    David “Brownie” was a Dear Friend to all of us in Northern Indiana and will be missed so very much. We all loved him so much. You couldn’t have ever met such a nicer guy. Our hearts go out to his family, children, and girlfriend, who is also one of our dear friends. You people need to stop talking crap about helmets and speed limits and find your hearts! David “Brownie” might have exceded the speed limit and didn’t have a helmet on, but he is past! What is your problem?

  19. Teresa says:

    Drinking lemonade on the porch and watching accidents??? You should be ashamed of yourself for saying anything of that nature. Rest in peace uncle brownie. You were very loved. I’m so sorry Aunt Marnel. He loved you so much.

  20. Outsider says:

    My condolences to the family of this man. Yes, he may have been speeding. He was on a lonely road with no one else around; perhaps he was just having some fun, knowing he was endangering no one other than himself. It’s not right, of course, but sometimes we do that. Sometimes, after going to work everyday and taking care of my family, driving kids to school, running to the store and such, I just want to be a kid again and have a little fun. I will drive a little faster than I should out on a deserted road or highway just to let off a little steam. I don’t drink, do drugs, or commit crimes. So, maybe this man, after having completed all the tasks of being a father of grown children decided to enjoy himself, at his own peril. I get that part. Rest in peace, and may God comfort your family.

    • Nancy N. says:

      That’s a very self-centered attitude to take that you are only harming yourself if you “have a little fun” by driving at an unsafe speed.What about the loved ones you’ll leave behind if you kill yourself doing it? Is it no harm to them to lose someone they love?

  21. roy b says:

    im sorry for his loss. but helmets don’t safe your life when your flying 150 feet in there air landing in trees and the brush and what evber was in there 90% of motocycle accidents are caused by interrnal injuries. iv been riding seen i was 12 years old. wrecked two bikes my head was never hurt or touched. wearing a helmet is like putting hearing aid in your ear and blinders on a horse. so get off of the helmet law. helmets don’t safe lives. you can’t hear or see.

    • Widower says:

      I stronly disagree. It may not have helped in this case as he was thrown thru the air but helmets do save lives. You can see and you can hear. I’ve been on a motorcycle for 13 years. I’ve never had a problem seeing or hearing. My husband passed away from head injuries that he probably would have survived had he had his helmet on. We do have the right to make that choice for ourself but to say that helmets don’t save lives….go talk to a nurse.

  22. Rodneyb says:

    I have been a part of the Brown’s family for many years and Mr B has earned the right to have a little fun if he so felt like it I just ask all of you to please think how you would comment on this if it was your loved one. My best friend (Mr B’s son) has not seen this article and I hope he never does. So please show some respect for the family and Mr Brown. So RIP MR B I WILL MISS YOU

  23. The Love of My Life, David Brown, perished on that road that night, all the speculation and every bit of in-put and supposition that everyone has displayed..will NEVER change the outcome!! Did he have a heart attack?..was he speeding? Did a deer run out in front of him? WE don’t know? But knowing does not change the outcome!! I soooo wish I was on the back of that bike with him!!! Perfect ending!! NONE OF YOU REALIZE MY PAIN!!! And I also know none of you care..just had to post after seeing soo many insensitive comments!! Have another lemonade and wait for your next 10 minutes of fame!! He was the safest driver I know..and many friends who rode with him would validate that!! Speeding? I don’t think so, but unfortunately I wasn’t on the back of that bike..Teresa, thank you..I love you..and you know David loved you sweet-pea..and Rodney..I was.. and still am part of “Mr B’s” life..

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