As Bike Week was entering its closing weekend, a motorcyclist was killed and another was critically injured Friday in separate crashes in Flagler County, the first in Palm Coast, the second in Bunnell.
Just after 2 p.m., a motorcyclist was traveling west on State Road 100. An 18-year-old driver of a SUV was preparing to make a left turn onto Bulldog Drive near Flagler Palm Coast High School. The SUV driver, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, “failed to yield the right of way and pulled into the path” of the motorcyclist, who was rid8ng a Harley-Davidson.
The SUV and the motorcycle, a Harley-Davidson, collided. Witnesses came to the aid of the 68-year-old motorcyclist, a resident of Murfreesboro, Tenn., who had been wearing a helmet but was severely injured. The 18 year old driver was not injured. (An earlier version of this article incorrectly reversed the sequence, placing the motorcyclist in the turning lane.)
The westbound lanes were closed and traffic diverted onto Bulldog Drive. Flagler County FireFlight, the emergency helicopter, transported the victim to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach. He had a Glasgow Coma Scale (GSC) reading of 3, the lowest number short of death. He died at the hospital.
The second crash took place at 6:30 p.m. on U.S. 1 near the intersection with Grand Reserve Drive when a motorcyclist, according to witnesses, lost control as he was riding north, and struck a sidewalk. Inclement weather prevented an emergency helicopter to be dispatched to the scene.
The motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet. He had a GSC of 3 at the scene, and was transported to Halifax hospital by ground. An update on the biker’s status was not available when this article initially published.
As of Thursday, the Daytona Beach news Journal reported that 69 people had been hospitalized as a result of Bike Week crashes in the city. The only two Bike Week-related deaths until then had taken place on a Volusia County road and in Flagler County early the morning of March 7, when a 22-year-old biker lost his life after losing control of his motorcycle on John Anderson Highway in Flagler.
The crash on Bulldog Drive brings Flagler County’s number of road fatalities to five so far this year. Bike Week does not end until Sunday. The event has claimed 20 lives in the last three years–six in 2020, eight in 2021, and six last year.
The FHP and other news articles have indicated that the biker was riding W/B on Rd. 100 and had the right of way. Those reports say the 18-year-old driver of the SUV was E/B on Rd. 100 making a left turn onto Bulldog and turned in front of the biker when the collision occurred. Just wanted to clarify what I heard after reading other accounts of this fatal TC. This reinforces what we know of most car vs. motorcycle collisions, which is that drivers of vehicles really need to pay attention because it is usually the vehicle driver who doesn’t see the motorcycle and causes the crash.
Bad weather on a motorcycle, might as well find a convenience store gas station and sit it out. I do that if I ever get caught in the rain riding a bicycle. Nobody needs to be out at risk in low visibility conditions. Bad enough the roads are going to be slick from road oils, silty sand/dust & water.
As for the left turn, not a good bet to try to beat oncoming traffic or even a train, a few extra minutes is prudent to wait for the turn arrow to protect for the next light change.
They almost made it thru the 10 days of Bike Week & a half.
That left turn lane from Rt 100 @Bulldog dr. Should be avoided!
Agreed, they make you wait for the green arrow to turn onto Seminole Woods Pkwy, why not at Bulldog Drive?
Concerned Citizen says
I am sad that two lives were lost during this event.
I am always relieved when this event comes and goes. Since last Friday I have watched large groups of bikes roll thru stop signs and red lights on numerous occasions. Several times with local law enforcement nearby. No action is taken. When I politely ask I am told it is safer for them to stay together and keep going. How? If you run a red light or stop sign you pull into oncoming traffic. And you interfere with oncoming traffic. Then there are the many times on 100 I have seen bikes get impatient. And split lanes to get thru traffic. The lack of law enforcement taking actions against bikers can only mean their revenue is more important than safety.
I fully understand that this event is important to the area. I understand a lot of money is spent. And Bikers want to have a good time. I just wish everyone would be a little more courteous. And obey the rules of the road. I have worked several accidents over the years that included fatalities. It’s not much fun.
The traffic laws should be tighten in FL because there are too many deaths caused by intentionally or unintentionally drivers cutting in front of the right of way of an incoming vehicle with total impunity all the time. They kill other drivers and specially motorcyclist than in general drive fast to avoid the collision. What do they get to end a life in FL a slap the wrist! Not enough protections for motorcyclist, cyclist, pedestrians or other drivers victimized. When I read this editorial (and thank you Pierre) first thing I suspected was a violation of the 18 years old on his protective SUV of the fast driving biker right of way and I was right, as they do it all the time! To me that is criminal! The victimizer will be out of court with a slap in the wrist in FL, but never in CA. Sometimes we have to learn from better examples to respect human life!