They say, “Time heals all wounds.” But time sure takes its time doing so. Tomorrow will be one week for me since witnessing a deadly motorcycle accident. That’s not nearly enough time. My heart still aches from what I saw. Meanwhile, my brain keeps playing the scene over and over. It feels like the crash will be forever burned in my mind.
It was Wednesday afternoon. November 14, 2018. I was in our company van on my way to Fedex. We were shipping sets of Lightning Strike Motorcycle Safety Lights to new customers. What a painfully ironic scenario for witnessing a deadly motorcycle accident.
Minutes from home, I was at the intersection of Higley Road and Germann Road in our town of Gilbert, Arizona. It was another failure to yield incident. Last time I checked, roughly 2 of 3 of this kind of motorcycle accident involves a car failing to yield. Most times it is a left-turn situation. Often it ends badly for the motorcyclist and his or her bike. Sadly, this time was no different.
I saw the guy on the motorcycle. I didn’t know him. But being a fellow rider, he was my brother. I thought of him with envy, wishing I could have been on my Harley at the time. Then suddenly, I was glad I wasn’t.
I watched him ride directly into the passenger’s side of that car. There was no time for the motorcyclist to hit the brakes. It was direct impact at a pretty good speed, making for a collision and a thud.
The rider laid in the street, separated from his motorcycle. The older man driving the car was walking around, wandering, wondering, and asking what happened. It seems clear he didn’t see the motorcycle.
Many people were quickly on the scene. I was shaken. I felt like I was going to throw up. I called my friend and co-worker. I needed to vent. I kept saying, “This is why we do what we do. This is why we have to do better.”
Both people involved in this deadly motorcycle accident were simply in the intersection on their way to destinations. One man wasn’t planning to die. One man wasn’t planning to have his life changed forever.
You never know when it’s your time. But you’d better know it’s your responsibility to do all you can to prevent every ride from being your last. For God’s sake, please be safe on your motorcycles. For your friend’s and family’s sake, please don’t ever take motorcycle safety lightly.
Owning a company which makes motorcycle safety lighting, means riders often tell you tales of crashes and close calls involving them and their fellow motorcyclists. Every one of those stories hits close to home with me. However, this one was unique.
Witnessing a deadly motorcycle accident first hand means I may never go through this intersection near my home without remembering our fallen rider. I may always remember his tragic last ride.
I know the wounds for the car driver and the loved ones of the rider in this deadly motorcycle accident are far worse than mine. I hold them in my thoughts and prayers. Truly I do.