The married couple from Jacksonville–Christopher Marlin is 40, Siglinda Marlin is 45–were riding their scarlet and black Harley-Davidson down State Road A1A a little before 1 p.m. They weren’t speeding. They hadn’t been drinking. No drugs were involved. They rode at normal pace, in their lane.
Alex Meyer, an 81-year-old man at the wheel of his BMW, also from Jacksonville, had driven down with his wife and was stopping at JT’s Seafood Shack in the Hammock, which was doing brisk business, its parking lot filled with cars and bikes around noon today. The restaurant’s main parking lot was full. Meyer pulled out and drove the very short distance on A1A north to make a left onto a secondary parking lot.
He made the left. And in so doing, “the guy in the BMW violates the right of way of the motorcycle,” a Florida Highway Patrol investigator at the scene said. The Harley smashed into the passenger side of the BMW 530 xi. after trying to skid to a stop. Both riders were evacuated by ground to Halifax Hospital, Christopher with serious injuries, Siglinda with minor ones. But both were wearing helmets. Christopher’s “helmet was beat up pretty bad,” the trooper said, “that’s why I presume he was taken to Halifax.”
The wreck took place at 12:50 p.m. almost immediately in front of JT’s. The motorcycle blocked the south lane of A1A. The Fire Police redirected traffic through a single lane, backing it up about a mile in each direction until about 2 p.m., when John’s Towing removed the bike.
Meyer was to be charged at the scene with making an illegal turn, a moving violation that carries three points on the driver’s license, absent traffic school. Meyer stood by his car, waiting for the FHP trooper to complete his report. “I’ve had no serious accidents in my lifetime, period,” the BMW owner said. He said he was unconcerned about his car–only that the two riders were OK.
Three of the six serious Bike Week wrecks that have taken place on Flagler County roads since the first one on March 9 on U.S. 1 south of Bunnell have taken place on A1A. A woman who was riding with her fiancee, Diana Sallee, died a day after her motorcycle struck a stationary SUV on A1A near Washington Oaks Garden State Park. On Friday, a man was severely injured when he struck a car making a U-turn in Flagler Beach, near the Java Joint.
Traffic had resumed normally on A1A Saturday afternoon by 2:15 p.m.
Ben Dover says
Unfortunately ,its that sort of bike week every year ,twice a year, as of today 5 people have died, my prayers go out to their family and friends, hopefully no more accidents before this thing wraps up tomorrow night.
My prayers go out to Chris and Siglinda and their families. You guys are in my thoughts constantly. We always talked about how its the drivers you have to watch out for. This is the reality that is close and heartfelt and let this be a lesson to all bikers that you can never take your eye off the road and be aware of your surroundngs at all times. The fact is, people don’t see motorcycles; especially ones that should not be driving in the first place! This can so easily be anyone of us out there. Let the angels and prayers surround you both to a speedy recovery.
Bike week should stop.
Why should bike week be stopped? Dumbass drivers should be stopped.
Better yet……why don’t we just cancel Christmas too!!! The retail stores do not need any of the tens of billions of dollars spent on Christmas presents to survive!!!!
How about we stop 81 year old untested for 66 years folks from driving till they can be tested?
We can’t stop Bike Week. Bikers bring more revenue to this area than any other event.. It is such a positive impact for our local economy.
Teflon Tom says
What an ignorant comment. Good people get injured and killed by idiots, idiots like? Like Who? LOOK OUT FOR MOTORCYCLES
Bike Week should stop? Are you kidding me? Should I stop using crosswalks as well since people are killed crossing those throughout the year? Should I stop surfing since surfers have been bitten by sharks?
Yes, it’s sad when these things happen but they go into Bike Week knowing the risks. Accidents happen. It’s a part of life.
B. Claire says
Such a beautiful day today…perfect for a bike ride…with such an awful end.
Also just a note of thanks for FlaglerLive’s continual great journalism keeping us all quickly informed, what’s going on ‘in our little town & beyond’.
Kudos also for the photography…each story’s impact is exponentially expanded by someone with a great eye and a camera.
I forgot about Christmas and sidewalks….
just me says
Thank GOD these two were at least doing the speed limit,no drugs were involved and HAD THEIR HELMETS ON!!!! Helmets people,WEAR THEM!!!!
I drive past JT’s daily (several times). Here’s what I’ve learned to expect:
1) Someone will come to a sudden and complete stop in A1A while looking for a parking place in front of JT’s (rather than pulling off the road before looking for parking)
2) Someone will pull out from one side of JT’s and immediately turn back into the other side looking for parking, while being completely oblivious to the fact that they have pulled back out onto A1A
3) Someone will pull out of JT’s onto A1A directly in front of me requiring emergency braking or running off the road (more than once I’ve been run completely off A1A onto the grass)
4) A significant number of people that pull out of JT’s for some inexplicable reason do not accelerate beyond 20-25mph for approximately 1 mile after leaving JT’s parking lot. I have no explanation as to why. It’s strange!
I really don’t think there is much we can do about careless / unskilled drivers. I view it as up to MYSELF to do my best to not let them cause me to crash. I *always* expect someone to do something foolish when I pass JT’s (and 16th RD and Sea Colony…)
Justice for All says
Yes, Bike Week should stop when our own residents get hit and die without benefit of proper on the scene evaluation. I’m also thinking about the young man who was killed on his bicycle on Seminole Woods Parkway and the Flagler County helicopter was unavailable due to maintenance to transport him to the hospital. But for Bike Week the helicopter has been dispatched 4+ times? Why the double standard?
just a thought says
There is no double standard. The hours for the County helicopter is the same for bike week as it was on that tragic day when the boy was killed. Unfortunately his accident was after the helicopter shut down at 8 pm. If you want the helicopter to be available 24 hours a day, call your County Commissioner and plead your case. It is all about money and budget cuts.
These idiot drivers need to be made an example of. Illegal turns on this road cannot be tolerated. I spent several days this week on this road, and had lunch at JT’s yesterday. Now I’m wondering if I want to come back. It’s Bike Week for god’s sake. Pull your head out of your rear end and show some common sense. There are bikes everywhere. Look for them!!
These drivers should be harshly punished for their disregard for human life and while is not done, bikers, cyclist, joggers and pedestrian will be killed in large numbers as is happening now. Never mind our innocent wildlife as well.
@ Justice for all….to what double standard are you referring too? Fireflight goes out of service at 2000 hrs, because they only have two pilots and the FAA requires piolts limit their hours per week. Air One was requested for the call in Seminole Woods, however they broke down upon attempting to take off.
Yes, Fireflight has been utilized more this week then in previous bike week/biketober fests…however anyone flown was between the hours of 0800 and 2000. There has been no added hours, or changing of hours or any such thing. In fact, Air One has been even utilized.
So where is the double standard?
Was it age or carelessness that caused this accident ? I really do think Florida should look at the driver’s age, and implement testing for vision, reflex, and driving skills when someone turns 80 years old.
I agree with David, driving is still a priveledge. Just because someone has been driving forever does not mean they are still capable.
Ben Dover says
Todays News Journal states Bike Week big success in Flagler and Volusia counties, store owners have change in their pockets, I`m sure the families of the 8 people that died will be thrilled to hear that, in. 2006 , 16 people died during bike week , 10 in 2002, and 7 in 2010 . that`s 41 people in four yrs of bike week , hope these bar and store owners enjoy that blood money , while 41 families are torn apart.
It just thrills me when someone(s) cast all motorcyclist as thugs, drunks, and doing things crazy. The vast majority are riding because the weather was superlative, usually with their wives in tow. Just out for a ride in beautiful weather while 77 year olds, drunk, drive in paths of oncoming vehicles or 88 year olds are more attentive to getting a parking spot than paying required attention to legal oncoming traffic whether it be cars or motorcycles.
Get real. Only those who are inept huddle to protect themselves from those who are doing the right thing. Then when things go wrong, making U turns and not being vigilant of the surroundings, blame everyone else for their wrong doings.
Be careful to all as Florida has the highest accident rates for those over 70. Unfortunately its a two way street and we all need to be very careful.