Kerry M. Oldham, 57 year-old motorcycle rider from Lehi, Utah, died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle versus auto accident occurring on May 3, 2012. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, this fatal motorcycle accident happened shortly after Oldham entered the I-15 from the Highland/Alpine ramp. According to witnesses, Oldham had just gotten on the freeway heading north and was intending to cross over several lanes to get to the left side of the freeway.
The first lane change went without incident, but when he merged into the middle lane, he found that traffic had stopped suddenly in front of him and was unable to avoid colliding with a GMC Yukon that had stopped in front of him. According to reports, after he struck the rear of the Yukon, another driver driving a Cadillac swerved to avoid Oldham, who was now lying on the highway, and drove off the right shoulder of the road and down an embankment. She was taken to a Salt Lake City hospital. Excessive speed or impairment were not said to play a role in this accident.
I send my condolences to the family of this man and best wishes for a fast recovery to those that were injured.
While speed may not have been a factor in this fatal accident, it appears the failure to keep a proper look out did. Lane changes should be made carefully and you need to be able to allow enough space between your vehicle and the one in front so that you can stop if those vehicles suddenly slow or stop. It appears in this case that there was not adequate space left between the motorcyclist and the vehicle stopped in front of him when he made the lane change. Riding a motorcycle is hazardous enough, but when you combine an unsafe maneuver with the lack of protection that a motorcycle offers, you have a recipe for disaster. Let’s all drive carefully out there, especially motorcyclists and bicyclists that don’t have a protective shell around them.
Ron Kramer is a Utah accident, injury and disability attorney handling cases throughout the state of Utah.