Thursday, June 3, 2010

DUI Fatal Crash: Astoria

DUI Fatal Crash: Astoria

Police arrested and charged a man with manslaughter, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment, following a fatal crash between a pickup and a motorcycle.

The motorcylist was killed.

The operator of a 2006 Ford F150 pickup crossed the double solid yellow center lines on a blind curve and collided nearly head-on with a 1994 Honda 500 motorcycle. The motorcyclist was ejected and the pickup dragged the motorcycle until stopping along the side of the highway.

The operator of the pickup was 44 years old. He and his passenger, his 13-year old daughter, both wore safety restraints and were not injured.

The motorcylist was 35 years old and wore a protective helmet.

Lessons Learned

No protective equipment will prevent injury in a collision.

No degree of skill or training will prevent a drunk driver from swerving into your lane of traffic.

The crash happened at about 6 PM, a Sunday evening, during the Memorial Holiday weekend. This holiday weekend has the highest percentage of alcohol-involved fatalities of all major holidays in Oregon. More than 250 people have died in Oregon traffic crashes during the last 40 years over the Memorial Day holiday period. Since 1985, 54 percent of the fatalities were alcohol-related.

There is no indication that the motorcyclist lacked skill or experience. There is little that he could have done to avoid this crash. It is most probable that he owned none of the fault.

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