Survivor tells of motorcycle crash horror - Victory Forums - Victory Motorcycle Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Survivor tells of motorcycle crash horror

The Saddletramps Motorcycle Club from eastern San Diego County was on a desert outing for its 10th anniversary when a car plowed into the riders, killing four and one in the car. 'Carnage was unreal,' the club president says.
...
About 12:50 p.m., shortly after the group descended into the flatland of Imperial Valley, about 80 miles east of San Diego near the hamlet of Ocotillo, a gold Honda Civic pulled behind them.
The impatient Honda driver, heading east like the Saddletramps, attempted to pass the motorcycles by pulling into the westbound lane.

A Dodge Avenger, seeing the Honda heading toward it, swerved to the right shoulder, then overcompensated by swerving left, according to the CHP. The driver lost control, sending the car into a sideways skid and ramming head-on into at least six motorcyclists.

Smith estimated that the Honda was traveling 90 to 100 mph when it tried to pass the entire group of motorcycles.
"He came out of nowhere," said Smith, who was riding point and was narrowly missed by the Dodge. "The other car went out of control and then started smashing into motorcycles. It was like bowling."

Four motorcycle riders were killed. Five others were airlifted or taken by ambulance to UC San Diego Medical Center or El Centro Regional Medical Center, according to the CHP. A passenger in the Dodge, identified as the driver's wife, was also killed.
...
Source: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov...crash-20101115

I know this isn't Victory related, but just wondering how you feel about riding in a group, and if this would affect your decision to ride in a group. Read the article - it might be good for you to know this happened next time when you're in a similar situation.

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Last edited by CrossRoads; 11-15-2010 at 03:09 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 06:04 PM
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I can relate to the accident and death of the riders very well. Last June my wife and I were riding separate bikes in 2 groups of 9 bikes. We have ridden several thousand miles with most of the riders with the exception of one new rider to the group and never had a close call. That day changed our lives forever when the new guy lost control on the on ramp of the interstate and he went down causing the bike behind him to go down too. Both men rolled across 3 lanes of traffic with the new guy making it through but my good friend Joel wasn't so lucky. He was run over by a semi truck and killed instantly in front of the rest of the riders following. It was devastating to our group to lose Joel but it has made us stronger as a group. The motorcyclists were not the only victims in the accident you posted or in ours. The drivers of the out of state cars involved have had difficulty coping with the accident too. Until you see a lifeless body laying in the road, you cannot imagine what goes through your head at the time and for a long time afterwords. Did it stop me from riding? No, Joel was doing what he loved and I am too.

We still ride in groups but we are extremely careful about whom we ride with. We have a ride meeting before we take off to remind everyone of the rules to ride by. If someone is riding in a manner that is unsafe, we make no bones about it and they either shape up or leave the group. If anyone wants a good set of group riding guidelines, I will be happy to get them for you.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 08:55 PM
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I'm not a fan of riding in groups although I've done it a million times. I much prefer to riding alone or maybe with 1-3 other people who I have some respect for in their riding abilities.

I don't like riding with newbie riders but someone needs to show them the ropes for proper etiquette with riding in groups. A lot of people go far too slow. I think that's much more dangerous than going too fast but that's just my humble opinion.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBob View Post
I'm not a fan of riding in groups although I've done it a million times. I much prefer to riding alone or maybe with 1-3 other people who I have some respect for in their riding abilities.

I don't like riding with newbie riders but someone needs to show them the ropes for proper etiquette with riding in groups. A lot of people go far too slow. I think that's much more dangerous than going too fast but that's just my humble opinion.
I agree with the speed. You need to ride with the flow of traffic. To slow and you create a hazard. To fast and you put riders in danger when passing slower vehicles.

Newbie riders need to learn to group ride with 3 - 4 bikes at most. The fastest way to determine the abilities of a rider is in an open parking lot with some cones setup to do slow speed maneuvers. I am a huge fan of the Ride Like a Pro DVD's. If you can't ride it slow in tight places then you need to practice before endangering other riders at highway speeds. You have to have confidence in your abilities and ride your own ride.

ATGATT because walking away in disgust is better than riding away in an ambulance.

Never get to busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
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A lot of people go far too slow. I think that's much more dangerous than going too fast but that's just my humble opinion.
Bbob,

I have always had a good attitude about bikers and now that i am one, I pay even more attention. Having said that my biggest gripe is driving down Wisconsin Highway 35 between Prescott and Nelson, a 70 mile, popular route for cycles. The speed limit is 55, the practical speed is about 60 and inevitably you get behind a group of between 6 to 12 guys cruising at about 50. They are taking up about 200 - 300 feet of space with 15 cars lined up behind them. Unless they pull off at a waystop or bar, it is all but impossible to pass safely without hitting 80 mph or worrying about having to cut into the middle of the group as the passing distances are challenging as the road is pretty curvy. I also think that people can be intimadated by this and chose to just follow as the safest option. Eventually there is some guy who's patience is at the end, after following for 15 miles with no opportunity to clear through makes a run. I am surprised this doesn't happen more often.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-16-2010, 02:39 PM
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A couple of years ago I got talked into going on a local "toy run".
Riding in a group with 3500 other bikes at the same time over 15 miles had to be one of the most hazardous rides ever. Every so often a random idiot would either decide to slingshot past, or try wheelies or other stunts.
While this is a great cause for the kids, and local law enforcement had the intersections blocked off, once was enough.

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