Officials with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) say that Monday evening motorcyclist was killed in an accident with a vehicle performing a U-turn on the scenic Chuckanut Drive in Bow.
According to KOMO, troopers received multiple calls about a serious injury crash in Bow approximately 10 miles north of the Interstate 5 interchange just after 5 p.m. When first responders arrived at the scene, they found two heavily damaged motorcycles and two seriously injured motorcyclists in the roadway.
Police said one of the motorcyclists, identified as a 24-year-old man from Bellingham, was pronounced dead from his injuries at the scene. The second motorcyclist was badly injured but expected to survive. He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Officials said the accident also involved a red 2004 Saturn sedan that had extensive damage from the collision. After interviewing witnesses, investigators determined that the motorcyclists were traveling southbound on Chuckanut Drive when the Saturn, which had been pulled over on the shoulder, attempted a U-turn to begin traveling northbound.
The victim's motorcycle crashed into the left-rear side of the Saturn, causing him to be ejected from the motorcycle. Investigators believe the initial collision then caused the second motorcyclist to crash into the victim's bike.
Establishing Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
From the preliminary reports and descriptions about the collision, it sounds as though there is a high likelihood that the driver of the Saturn failed to notice the motorcyclists approaching when he decided to attempt the U-turn. Whether he was distracted at the time or simply did not see them for some other reason.
Investigators will spend the coming weeks and possibly even months working to determine any potential contributing factors to the crash. For what it’s worth, WSP officials say that drugs or alcohol were not a factor in the fatal collision.
From a legal perspective, the results of the investigation will have a significant impact on the victim’s surviving family members to bring a wrongful death claim on his behalf. But if there is any reason to believe that the motorcyclist was even partially responsible for the crash, a wrongful death claim would still be a viable option due to Washington state’s contributory negligence laws.