Pair of Deadly Motorcycle Crashes in Colorado Springs Close Out 2023
Two people were killed in separate Colorado Springs motorcycle crashes in back-to-back days just before the end of the year, once again highlighting the risk that comes with traveling on two wheels.
A 19-year-old biker was killed on Dec. 30 in a crash on I-25 near the Woodmen Road exit, The Denver Gazette reports. The tragic accident came just one day after a 40-year-old died when he lost control of his motorcycle on North Nevada Avenue near the intersection with East Willamette Avenue.
Both accidents were single-vehicle crashes, according to local news reports. Both riders were said to be traveling at high rates of speed and passing vehicles in the moments before the accidents.
The 19-year-old biker reportedly was ejected from his motorcycle and thrown into the center median on I-25 after losing control. The man was just days away from his 20th birthday, according to an online obituary.
He “was taken from us suddenly while doing what he loved,” the man’s family wrote in the obituary.
“He had a heart of gold and was always there for his family and friends,” the family continued. “His passing will be felt deeply throughout the community as he made an impact on everyone he met.”
The other biker, killed a day earlier, reportedly tried to hit his brakes when another vehicle entered the intersection of Nevada Avenue near and East Willamette Avenue. He instead lost control and was ejected from the bike. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in Colorado
Tragic motorcycle accidents are all too common across Colorado, especially in El Paso County.
El Paso County saw the most motorcycle deaths in 2022 (25), followed by Jefferson (19), Adams (12), Denver (12) and Arapahoe (11), according to Colorado State Patrol.
Annual data for 2023 is not yet available, but fatal motorcycle deaths appeared to be trending downward statewide earlier in the year.
A total of 36 people were killed in motorcycle accidents across the state over the first seven months of 2023, CSP data show. That figure is roughly one-quarter of the 149 motorcyclists who died in crashes statewide a year earlier.
Law enforcement and traffic safety officials caution that many factors can lead to crashes.
“We often worry about motorists not seeing or yielding to motorcycles, and while this continues to be a valid concern, our message today is for motorcycle riders to drive as if their life depends on it,” Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, said in an August press release.
“We know riders are more vulnerable, so it is up to you to prioritize your safety by not taking risks that can lead to a tragic death or life-changing injury,” Packard added. “Riders of all experience levels can and do crash.”
Two factors in particular are the most common in fatal motorcycle collisions, according to CSP.
“Investigators found that speed and lane violations were the most common causal factors in these fatal collisions,” CSP said in a statement announcing the latest motorcycle crash data. “In addition, when speed was not listed as the causal factor, it was the most common secondary contributing factor for these fatal crashes.”
Motorcycle riders are bound by the same rules of the road as people in other vehicles.
Colorado traffic law prohibits motorcycle riders and other motorists from making unsafe lane changes. They are permitted to make lane changes only after deeming it is safe to do so, first checking for other traffic and pedestrians. Infractions are punishable with a fine and driver’s license points.
State law currently permits lane sharing, or two motorcycles riding side by side in a single lane. The more dangerous practice of lane splitting – riding between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic – is illegal across the state, however.
Lane splitting is a recipe for disaster for a number of reasons.
First, other drivers are not expecting motorcycles to ride the line between lanes. In addition, they may not notice bikers when changing lanes. Even a motorcyclist who is proceeding with caution may wind up in a driver’s blind spot by splitting lanes.
Wrongful Death Claims for Colorado Motorcycle Accidents
Wrongful death claims are common following fatal motorcycle and other traffic accidents.
The loved ones of a person who dies in a crash generally have the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the accident. The monetary damages typically available in these cases are designed to compensate family members for the financial impact of losing a loved one.
Obviously, no amount of money can ever allow you to go back in time and prevent an accident from happening. A wrongful death action can, however, help ease the financial strain that often comes with the loss of a loved one. It can also provide a certain level of closure by getting justice and ensuring that those responsible are made accountable for their actions.
State law limits who can pursue a wrongful death case to spouses, children and parents. In the event that a person dies without a spouse, child or parent, the personal representative of his or her estate can sue for wrongful death.
To successfully pursue a wrongful death claim, you have to be able to identify who is to blame for the crash and establish their legal liability. You do not need to go it alone. A Denver personal injury lawyer at our firm can help you understand your legal rights and explore your options.
Speak With a Denver Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle, car, truck or other accident in Colorado, an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer at Levine Law can help. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and a strong track record of success in the courtroom and through negotiated settlements.
Our lawyers are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver personal injury lawyer.