Tag Archives: fatality

Another fatality in group riding crash

A 63-year-old Victorian man has died in a crash on a dirt road while out riding in a group southwest of Stanthorpe, Queensland, yesterday (Tuesday 11 September 2019).

Police say the man was riding his motorcycle around noon along Murphy’s Crossing Road at Nundubbermere (above) as part of a larger group.

They say he “lost control and crashed”.

“An off-duty nurse located the crash and provided first-aid along with the other riders, however the man was declared deceased at the scene,” police say.

The Forensic Crash Unit will investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP1901766556.

Group crashes

Fatal crash highlights group riding risk
Southern Cross Association Poker Run riders

A 61-year-old rider also died on a group charity ride last week on the Moonie Highway in southern Queensland.

Two others were injured.

They were part of a contingent of 351 on the 22nd annual Southern Cross Association Poker Run for Spina Bifida Queensland going from Yeppoon to Nindigully.

On the same day, a motorcyclist died after falling from his bike in the New England region.

The 65-year-old man was travelling with several riders heading west on the Gwydir Highway towards Glen Innes.

Our sincere condolences to the riders’ families and friends.

Riding in a group can be safer if you have a crash as there are others who can help.

However, there are also risks in riding with several other riders.

Click here for tips on riding in groups.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Driver free after causing rider death

A driver who caused the death of a rider has walked free from court over a technicality that allows motorists to dangerously pull over on the side of multi-lane highways and motorways.

Burpengary rider Luke Harris, aged just 25, died on 28 December 2017 in a crash caused by a ute pulling out in front of his Honda on the Bruce Highway.

Ute driver Cameron Woodvine was charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.

He told police he had pulled off on the right side of the highway to look for his wallet in a narrow roadside area that is not a designated stopping bay.

Luke’s sister, Renee Harris, says Luke was riding his bike in the far right lane when he collided with the ute as it slowly re-joined the highway.

He was thrown from his bike into the path of a BMW car which also crashed into another car stationary on the other side of the road.

“Luke had nowhere to go,” Renee says.

Luke with his mother Sue and sister Renee


Woodvine appeared in the District Court in Brisbane on 23 July 2019 and two days later was found not guilty.

“There were no other charges, court fees, disqualifications, etc,” Renee says. 

“Unfortunately this person walked free mainly due to outdated terminology in the current road rules,” Renee says.

Queensland Road Rules only allow motorists to pull over in a freeway emergency lane and only in an emergency. Otherwise, they must not stop on a freeway. 

Driver free after causing rider death of Luke Harris
Luke with his Honda


Family friend Cressida Fraser, with the support of Luke’s family, has now started an online petition to Queensland Parliament to add multi-lane motorways and highways to the rules.

Click here to sign her petition.

“Had this person not pulled over for a non-emergent reason then this accident never would have occurred and Luke would still be here today,” Renee says.

“We don’t want another family to have to suffer the way we have not only with the pain of losing Luke but also the impact the not guilty verdict then had on our family.”

Cressida says the current rule makes it “potentially dangerous” for all motorists.

“With traffic flowing at 100km/h, it has the potential to be fatal, especially on bikes with much less protection than cars,” she says.

“Luke’s accident was the result of outside sources and not having a way out.

“It could happen and has happened to many riders, experienced or new. We just hope this can be the start of making even a small difference to rider safety.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Hit-run fatal driver was unlicensed

A British man facing multiple charges involving a fatal crash with two motorcycles on Sunday was an unlicensed driver in a rental car.

Graham Belcher, 52, of Britain, was arrested at Brisbane International Airport yesterday (Tuesday 3 September 2019) at 2am as he was about to board a flight to Hong Kong.

He will appear in Tweed Heads Local Court today.

NSW Police will allege his rental car was involved in the crash at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Tweed Valley Way in Tumbulgum (pictured above) near Tweed Heads, about 3.20pm on Sunday.

A driver, 52, wanted in connection with a double motorcycle crash that killed one rider and left another injured has been arrested about to board a flight to Hong Kong.
Crash scene

A male rider died at the scene and the other male rider was taken to Tweed Heads Hospital with minor injuries.

The driver of the vehicle failed to stop.

NSW Police have successfully applied for his extradition in Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday.

He will appear in Tweed Heads Local Court this morning charged with an outstanding warrant, as well as:

  • dangerous driving occasioning death – drive manner dangerous;
  • fail to stop and assist after vehicle impact causing death;
  • negligent driving (occasioning death);
  • cause bodily harm by misconduct in charge of motor vehicle;
  • drive while licence cancelled;
  • not give way to vehicle (give way sign/line); and
  • driver fails/refuses to disclose his identity.

He is expected to be remanded in custody to appear at a later date for a hearing.

His arrest was a joint operation involving the Crash Investigation Unit, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Tweed Byron Police District officers, Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and Queensland Police.

Police had appealed for the public’s assistance to locate the Hyundai with Queensland registration 170-ZCP.

A driver, 52, wanted in connection with a double motorcycle crash that killed one rider and left another injured has been arrested about to board a flight to Hong Kong.
Similar Hyundai

It was found late yesterday in Terranora and seized for examination.

Inquiries into the events leading up to the crash are continuing.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

  • Our condolences to the deceased rider’s family and friends and our best wishes to the other rider for a quick and full recovery.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider dies after car turns across his path

A 27-year-old male rider from Jimboomba, south of Brisbane, has died in a collision with a car allegedly turning across his path.

The accident happened at 10am today (27 April, 2019) in Park Ridge.

Queensland Police say their preliminary inquiries indicate the motorcycle was travelling south on Chambers Flat Road when he collided with a car turning into Isla Street.

The rider was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 39-year-old female driver was transported to Logan Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

Quote this reference number: QP1900820339

Our sincere condolences to the rider’s family and friends.

Turning crashes

While we do not know who was to blame for the incident, we have decided to re-publish the article below as most accidents involving motorcycles and other vehicles occur when the other vehicle is turning across their path.

The result can be lethal as the rider hits the car in a t-bone fashion, rather than a glancing blow.

There are a number of scenarios of turning-vehicle crashes where the rider is completely blameless and others where they are at partial or complete fault.

But in the end, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is if the rider is dead.

Most common turning crashes

These are the four most common crash situations where the other motorist is turning, often without looking for motorcycles:

  1. Oncoming driver turns across the rider’s path to enter a property or side street;
  2. Vehicle pulls out of a side street into the path of the motorcycle;
  3. Motorist pulls over to perform a u-turn without looking; and
  4. A vehicle in front suddenly turns without indicating just as a rider is overtaking them.

Look for these signs

We all know drivers don’t look for motorcyclists for a variety of reasons.

So riders need to assume the worst and look out for these signs in the above impending SMIDSY (Sorry Mate, I didn’t See You) situations:

  1. If an approaching vehicle has its indicators on, assume they may turn without giving way to you and look for movement of the wheels and the driver’s head turning;
  2. Be suspicious of all vehicles coming out of side streets (left or right) and again check their wheels and the driver’s head to see if they have seen you;
  3. Treat any vehicle that pulls over as a possible u-turn or at least that they will suddenly open their door and step out in front of you; and
  4. If the vehicle in front suddenly slows, don’t take the opportunity to pass them. Be cautious that they could be about to make a turn, even if they haven’t indicated.

How to avoid SMIDSY crashesTurning crash

In all the above four situations, slow down and be prepared to take some sort of evasive action, looking for a possible escape route.

If the driver is on a side street or oncoming, try to make eye contact with them.

Make yourself seen by moving in your lane.

You can also alert drivers to your presence by blowing your horn or flashing your lights, although these may be illegal in some jurisdictions and could give the false message that you are letting them cross your path.

Don’t trust loud pipes to save you. Most drivers have their windows up, air-conditioning on and the radio turned up loud, so they may not hear you, anyway.

Besides, in all these situations, your pipes are facing away from the driver.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Alleged single-vehicle crashes claim toll

One rider has died and another serious injured in allegedly single-vehicle motorcycle crashes in Brisbane over the past couple of days.

In the first incident, a 26-year-old Cornubia man died in a crash on Lytton Rd, Bulimba, at 5.30am yesterday (19 April 2019).

Police say it was a single-vehicle crash, although they have not yet concluded their investigations and are still calling for witnesses and dash cam vision.

In the second incident, police say a 47-year-old male rider from Kingston sustained life-threatening-injuries “following reports a motorcycle had left the Kingston Road and crashed”.

Again, police have not finished their investigations and are calling for witnesses and dash cam evidence.

Our condolences to the family and friends of the first rider and our best wishes for a speedy recovery for the second rider.

Single-vehicle crashesWhat to do if you have been involved in a motorcycle accident crash single

The police allegations that these are single-vehicle motorcycle crashes are a concern.

It raises the spectre that the riders were at fault. Such assertions should not be made until investigations are completed.

Other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians or a stray animal could have caused the crashes.

Claiming they are single-vehicle crashes only confirms in the minds of the public that riders have a death wish and do not deserve their respect and consideration.

These are dangerous assertions that jeopardise the safety of all riders.

In fact, the statistics show that more motorcycle fatalities are in multi-vehicle crashes.

And in half of those the rider was not at fault.

Last month, Motorcycle Council of NSW chairman Steve Pearce said he feared police assumed crashes riders were guilty until proven innocent.

“I think there is a view that riders are more likely to be at fault in accidents involving motorcycles and that speed is the common factor,” Steve says.

“We see this in single-vehicle accidents involving a motorcycle, where the rider is automatically deemed to be at fault.

“This ignores factors such as road condition, line markings, recent roadworks, lack of signage.”

Witnesses soughtDayGlo Queensland Police witnesses single

If you have information for police on either of these incidents, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.

In the rider fatality, quote this reference number QP1900767388 and in the second incident, quote QP1900775488.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Police bias in motorcycle crash probe

A driver who crossed double white lines and killed a teenage motorcyclist was charged with a traffic offence rather than manslaughter in an investigation marred by police bias.

A Northern Territory Coronial Inquest has been told police took five weeks to interview the female driver of the Subaru wagon that hit 16-year-old Xavier Lengyal’s bike just 200m from his home.

Xavier’s family told the Coronial Inquest that police treated the crash investigation as their son’s fault.

“Our family was left feeling like idiots and completely unjustified with the impression of guilt, due to being pushed away and the sense of Xavier’s investigation being swept under the rug,” Xavier’s father, Asher Lengyal, said.

Police bias in bike crash probe
Image supplied

Senior police admitted bias in the investigation in which they also took “an inordinate amount of time” to take witness statements.

NT Police only charged the driver with crossing double white lines rather than unintentional vehicular manslaughter.

Police bias in bike crash probe
Crash scene with Subaru on the wrong side of the road (Image: Nine News)

The former is a traffic offence that carries a $263 fine and two demerit points in the NT while the latter can result in up to six months’ jail.

Police say there is a flaw in NT law preventing driver Maxine Holden from being charged with anything further at the time.

Bias of rider guilty

Motorcycle Council of NSW chairman Steve Pearce fears that police bias against riders could be more widespread than just the NT Police.

“It’s almost like the reversal of the law of natural justice; that riders are guilty until proven innocent,” he says.

He and other rider representatives have previously criticised police for assigning blame to riders when commenting to media after a crash.

“I think there is a view that riders are more likely to be at fault in accidents involving motorcycles and that speed is the common factor,” Steve says.

“We see this in single-vehicle accidents involving a motorcycle, where the rider is automatically deemed to be at fault.

“This ignores factors such as road condition, line markings, recent roadworks, lack of signage.”

Steve Pearce siege highway combined braking ombudsman scrooge poor road repair reduce killer holiday regulations bias
Steve Pearce

Call for specialised training

Steve says police crash teams need specialised training in determining the cause of motorcycle accidents.

NT Assistant Commissioner Narelle Beer told the coronial inquest they had since made “major changes” to their Major Crash unit.

They include a joint management team and a superintendent dedicated to overseeing Major Crash.

Steve says speed is often cited as the biggest killer on our roads because of a lack of expertise among police accident investigators.

“Are investigators using speed as a catch-all reason for motorcycle accidents?” he asks.

Police accident investigators are also in a conflict of interest as they are responsible for prosecuting motorists.

“Therefore, they are only looking for offences committed, not the cause of the crash,” he says.

“We need to look for world’s best practice in this area.”

There is concern that police and media jumping to conclusions and blaming motorcyclists for crashes could lead to viewing riders not as vulnerable road users, but as “temporary Australians” with a death wish.

Rider representatives suspect a spate of four hit-run incidents in the past three weeks in Melbourne could be the direct result of recent bad press about the high rate of motorcycle fatalities in the state, currently at 20.

Accident statistics

Police bias in bike crash probe
Xavier’s crashed bike (Image Nine News)

Based on police accident investigations, most Australian statistics seem to show that speed is the biggest killer.

For example, the NSW Motorcycle Safety Action Plan 2017-2019 says “inappropriate speed” is a contributing factor in 54% of motorcycle fatal crashes and 28% of motorcycle serious injury crashes.

It’s more likely less than 10% based on two significant studies in the UK and USA.

The British Transport Laboratory found that less than 8% of all road crashes were caused by exceeding speed limits and the 2005 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s long-term Naturalistic Driving Study said it was just 7%.

Both studies found driver inattention was the biggest killer. The US study said it was as high as 80%, yet NSW road authorities say it is only 25%, based on inadequate police crash investigations.

It is significant that an Austroads 2015 Motorcycle In-Depth Crash Study report found that slippery substances on the road account for 13% of single-vehicle crashes.

That’s almost double the figure the US study said was due to speed.

Steve says speed is too often cited as the biggest cause of single motorcycle accidents when there are plenty of other factors involved.

“Other factors unique to motorcycling such as the impact of road conditions, weather, bike setup, rider experience, rider familiarity with their motorcycle, rider fatigue are too often ignored,” he says.

“If we took crash investigation to the next level, we would be better equipped to determine what factors to employ to educate riders and reduce injuries.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Police target riders on long weekend.

Victoria Police will target both road and off-road motorcyclists this Labour Day long weekend in the annual Operation Arid.

Extra police resources, including 10 more “booze and drug buses”, will be deployed in priority areas, including Wangaratta/Benalla, Yarra Ranges, Geelong/ Moorabool, Glen Eira and Greater Dandenong.

The operation runs from 12.01am tomorrow (8 March 2019) to 11.59pm Monday (11 March).

Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane says they will pay particular attention to road and off-road riders because of the record number of deaths so far this year.

Rider deaths

radio jock calls fr rider ban on highway long weekend
Rider fatality on Melbourne’s Monash Freeway last month

Up to date, 17 riders have died this year compared with seven up to the same time last year.

The five-year average is nine, according to Transport Accident Commission figures.

However, Police say they will not just target motorcyclists, but all motorists.

“We especially urge motorcyclists and country road users to do everything in their power to make themselves as safe as possible as these groups make up 80 per cent of our lives lost this year,” Assistant Commissioner Leane said.

“Please just slow down and drive to the conditions. It doesn’t take much; plan your journey, don’t drink if you’re going to drive, and take that extra few minutes to drive at a speed that is appropriate to the conditions you are travelling in.”

“All too often we accept fatal crashes as a normal thing that just happens on long weekends.

“Well I am saying one person is too many, let alone the 59 lives lost this year.

“The only acceptable number is zero, so we need the community to assist in ensuring that this weekend is safe for everyone.”

2018 long weekend Operation Arid results:

  • six lives lost
  • 3129 speeding offences
  • 441 mobile phone offences
  • 262 seat belt offences

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Witnesses sought over hit-run rider

Victorian Police are appealing for witnesses and dashcam footage after a hit-and-run crash in West Melbourne left a motorcyclist with serious injuries.

The accident happened on Footscray Road at 5.10am today (February 28, 2019).

The 29-year-old male rider was treated by paramedics on scene and taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Police believe a white, early 2000s model Mitsubishi van, with registration plates WWX576, was seen leaving the scene travelling south on the Citylink, over the Bolte Bridge towards Port Melbourne.

Mitsubishi van hit-run rider
Police are looking for a Mitsubishi van like this

The vehicle has damage to the front left side and a missing headlight from the hit.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or has dashcam footage or information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

It follows the sad death yesterday of a 28-year-old rider in hospital after a collision in Tarneit on Sunday (February 24, 2019) about 8.45pm at the intersection of Bethany Road and Claire Way.

The motorcyclist from Tarneit was travelling east on Bethany Road when he collided with a BMW sedan as the vehicle was turning into Claire Way.

The driver, a 29-year-old Mount Waverly man, stopped and assisted at the scene.

The rider was taken to hospital with life threatening injuries but has sadly died.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com