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Allen Shepard, 32, Critically Injured in Bike Wreck at US1 and Matanzas Woods

| October 19, 2013

Authorities are cautioning drivers about Biketoberfest, which began this weekend, as riders fill roads in Flagler County. Last year, Biketoberfest and sprting's Bike Week resulted in near-daily wrecks like the one above, on State Road A1A. (© FlaglerLive)

Authorities are cautioning drivers about Biketoberfest, which began this weekend, as riders fill roads in Flagler County. Last year, Biketoberfest and spring’s Bike Week resulted in near-daily wrecks like the one above, on State Road A1A. (© FlaglerLive)

Biketoberfest 2013 officially began on Oct. 17 and will run through Sunday (Oct. 20). At 8:20 p.m. Friday (Oct. 18), Flagler County registered its first serious wreck of the event, in a location where vehicle-versus-bike wrecks are disturbingly routine: The intersection of U.S. 1 and Matanzas Woods Parkway, and not just during the year’s two major bike events.

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Allen Brice Shepard, 32, of St. Augustine, was traveling north on U.S. 1. on a 2002 Suzuki motorcycle. Samantha Goodridge, 44, of Apopka, was at the wheel of a 2008 Honda van. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Goodridge was going west on Matanzas Woods, which ends at U.S. 1. Goodridge made a complete stop at the intersection’s stop sign. But she then began to maneuver across the northbound lanes to make a left turn and go south.

Somehow, she did not see Shepard on his bike, riding north. It is the same story driver after driver tells authorities in such wrecks at that intersection, even though U.S. 1 is a straight road at that point, with long lines of sight unimpeded by vegetation in both directions. The weather was dry Friday evening, and a nearly full moon had already risen by the time of the wreck.

Goodridge, the FHP’s investigation found, violated Shepard’s right of way. Shepard was unable to take evasive action. His motorcycle struck the left-rear of the Honda. Volusia County’s Air One, the emergency helicopter, was called in, evacuating Shepard to Halifax hospital’s trauma unit.

Alcohol was not involved either with Goodridge or Shepard, FHP found. Shepard was wearing a helmet. Goodridge was cited with violation of right of way.

Earlier this week, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office issued an advisory to Flagler residents and drivers. Motorists, the Sheriff’s Office said, should be aware of motorcyclists and share the road.

“Drivers should never drive while they are distracted,” a Sheriff’s release states. “Doing so could result in tragic consequences for a motorcyclist. Make sure that you allow enough room between your vehicle and a motorcycle. Motorcycles are smaller than a motor vehicle and may be hidden in a vehicles blind spot, drivers should look twice especially at intersections and when making left turns and to use your rear and side view mirrors before changing lanes.

“Motorcyclists are urged to ride responsibly making sure they use their turn signals or hand signals, obey speed limits, and position yourself in traffic lanes where you will be most visible to others on the road and never ride distracted or impaired. Riders and passengers are encouraged to wear an approved safety helmet and to make sure that they wear bright colored clothing so they can be seen by others on the roadway.

“Visitors are reminded that large events such as Biketoberfest can also attract con artists and thieves who are looking to scam tourists, steal motorcycles and other valuables. Motorcyclists should be sure to secure their bikes, trailers and other valuables at the end of the day. Do not let a crime spoil your vacation.”

“We welcome bikers to Flagler County and hope that they enjoy their visit and have a safe, fun filled weekend,” Sheriff Jim Manfre said.

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8 Responses for “Allen Shepard, 32, Critically Injured in Bike Wreck at US1 and Matanzas Woods”

  1. Billybob says:

    I guess it’s only a matter of time before we get a traffic light at that intersection. What else could be done? These drivers are pulling out in front of oncoming vehicles going a legal 60mph on a straight road in broad daylight. Personally I hate all the new traffic lights on US1 but I also don’t want people pulling out directly in front of me for no apparent reason.

    As for motorcycles many people don’t realize that their side mirror or windshield pillar can completely hide a motorcycle from view. If they just stop-look-go they can easily cause a wreck. You have to stop. Wait more than 1 second (to allow any hidden objects to appear in your view) and then go. This should be how you always drive, not just bike season.

    Another way you can mess up at that intersection: You only see one car and it is pulling into the right turn lane with it’s signal on. So you go. But you didn’t wait to see the OTHER car in the travel lane just in the blind spot of the turning car. The way a stop sign works (for those who don’t get it) is you have to allow a couple seconds so that you can view and judge the speed of the oncoming car(s) to be sure you aren’t about to pull out in front of somebody. Just because you see a “gap” doesn’t mean it is safe to go.

    Finally, be aware of the speed of the road. When you turn onto a 60+mph road you should try to make an effort to get up to speed rather than putt-zing along at 15-20mph for the first 1/4 mile. Personally I have had people turn right, directly in front of me, at this very intersection causing me to hard brake from 60mph to 20mph to avoid hitting them. I couldn’t change lanes due to traffic next to me. So it would be nice if you would pull out and go and save the daydreaming for when you aren’t on the road. Thanks.

    • Janaye Lawson says:

      My prayers go out to this biker. Why don’t you petition for a light at that intersection. I live in the Wash, DC area but have family in Flagler, and read the apper there all the time, I can not believe all the accidents they have in that town now… Perhaps they can do a traffic study and put a light there. If funds don’t permit it, perhaps a no turn on red, would help. we have those at busy or hidden intersections here. When I started driving, my oldest brother told me to always practice driving when I got behind a wheel. I have done that for 46 years… everyone should try it. You sent a great comment….

  2. Ben Dover says:

    I“m convinced that mini van drivers get a complimentary lobotomy right before they get their keys, mini vans are constantly either driving too damn slow , sitting at a right on red or pulling out in front of you , or and here`s the one that got me on US! right by Pax Trax she passed me on the left got in front of me then just jammed on the breaks, her I think was part of an insurance fraud scam ,I saw that van and a silver toyota pick up for like a week every morning on my way to work after she jammed on breaks I tried to get in left lane and the silver toyota laid on the horn sped up to keep me out ,so it was hit the van or go to the grass I chose grass , after hitting the tree at 60 or 65 mph , I flipped and rolled a few times landing on my drivers side door, them two of course left me there after they caused the wreck, a month later by Palm Coast Pkwy and US1 I saw the same van reared ended by a car and the silver toyota was there as well, I had a load that was asap on my truck so I couldn t stop and tell the cops what they were up to, but mini van drivers are the absolute worst drivers on the road

  3. Nancy N. says:

    They are absolutely going to have to put a light at the intersection very soon – especially because construction is about to start on the Matanzas Woods/I-95 interchange, which will only increase the amount of traffic through the US-1/Matanzas intersection.

  4. Geezer says:

    You can make book on the fatalities that the Bike events bring.
    It’s very telling that no one has ever said that maybe, just maybe
    it doesn’t pay because of the (almost guaranteed) loss of human life.

    What seems most important is that the vendors make their windfall
    a couple of times a year. Jingle bells!

    So what if lives are lost! Life is cheap around these parts.

  5. Agnese says:

    OR, people could start paying attention !

  6. barbie says:

    At some point, a light is going to HAVE TO be put in at that intersection. Most people traveling north on US 1 do not obey the speed limit, they’re going much faster–they have to be; if you’re at a complete stop at the end of Matanzas Woods and you don’t see any cars headed north–and then you pull out and boom, there’s a vehicle bearing down on you, the northbound traffic is *speeding*. Large trucks are the absolute worst on that bend, they come around it and they have to be doing at least 80.

    Until they get a light in there, where the he*l are the cops? They could make a fortune on speeding tickets, all they have to do is sit on the median there (or close by) and they’d make a fortune just on northbound traffic. I almost got clobbered there the other day, same scenario. People need to drive the speed limit! Wherever you’re going is still going to be there whenever you get there, so get there safe. For God’s sake just SLOW DOWN. This is not rocket science, people.

  7. Rick says:

    First of all, my sincere condolences & best wishes to the victims families. Not returning from a vacation weekend has to be one of the worst. Very sad.
    But, part of a line in this article caught my eye,”……..with long lines of sight unimpeded by vegetation in both directions.” This statement is referring to Rt.1. I, as many others, only wish several other intersections in Palm Coast would resemble this.
    At too many of them a driver has to pull too far into a crossing lane, sometimes with oncoming traffic, in order to gain a clear line of sight in both directions. Despite looking nice, this planted vegetation completely to the ends of the medians are the main culperts of blocking very important sight.
    Palm Coast, appearing to be all pro-green, has absolutely no concern to the drivers on the roads at these intersections.

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