Yamaha Starbike Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I thought this might be entertaining as well as educational.

I am a retired police officer from the Florida Highway Patrol, 13 years years was spent in traffic homicide with 10 years of that as a supervisor, I have been involved in over 1,000 traffic homicide cases in one way or another.

One case that my squad worked in South Miami on State Road 826 Northbound from NorthBound US 1 was a teenager who was on a Honda 600 cc crotch rocket style bike, his father was with him on one of the big CC engined crotch rocket style bikes. There used to be a Fudd Ruckers burger joint that would have a bike night during the week and the father had brought his son to this bike night. When they left the father entered the State Road 826 expressway Northbound from US 1 Northbound and opened up his bike, this entrance ramp went uphill as it crossed over US 1 so it has a couple of nice curves to it before it straightened out.

The son attempting to keep up with his father on his smaller 600 cc Honda drifted wide crossing onto the right side shoulder where he hit the concrete retaining wall and then his head and upper body hit one of the aluminum light poles killing him.

The father who by then was a good 3/4 of a mile down State Road 826 noticed his son was no longer behind him so he turns around in the Northbound lanes and proceeds to travel against Northbound traffic going Southbound until he came upon his sons crashed motorcycle and his sons body laying on the right shoulder of the roadway.

Come to find out the father had just recently bought the son that motorcycle and he was just learning to ride, trying to keep up with his father he rode past his ability to control the bike.

It was a stupid mistake by the father that led to his sons death that night and one he has to live with the rest of his life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Here is another case from Miami, this one happened in the middle of the night on the Florida Turnpike Southbound in the Cutler Ridge area.

Two brothers were riding home from a night out when a car came up on them at a high rate of speed passing them, one of the brothers decided to open up his bike and chase the car to pass the car, one of those how dare you things. The other brother was not very experienced on his motorcycle and did not take off with his brother because he was not confident riding at such high speeds.

The brother who did not take off all of the sudden came upon debris all over the roadway, the debris was parts of his brothers disintegrated motorcycle along with his brothers body parts. His brother had lost control of his motorcycle and it slide into the guardrail, the type with the metal "H" beam posts that hold the galvanized metal guardrails. Being he was sliding on the ground his motorcycle and his body were striking one "H"beam after the next disintegrating the motorcycle and the body.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Here is an incident not involving a crash, this was back in 1985 on US 27 Northbound just east of State Road 826, I was in my first year with FHP patrolling my zone when a pack of motorcycles turned onto US 27 heading Northbound, there were about 30 of them, I proceeded to activate my lights and siren as usually one of them would pull over.

As I was pursuing the motorcycles I got behind one and we were traveling about 105 MPH and the rider kept reaching under the fuel tank with his left hand and looking down in that area all while traveling at 105 MPH with me behind him about 100 feet with lights and siren, when all of the sudden he pulled something out from under the fuel tank tossing up into the air, this object hit the upper right side of my patrol cars windshield and exploded into a white powder. He continued for another 1/2 mile and then pulled over.

While I had him stopped I had called for back up and asked for a canine unit and while I was waiting for the back up the pack of motorcycles had turned around and started circling us, being new and having that many motorcycle circling you can be just a little un-nerving. Well I got back up but there were no canine units available. when my back up unit arrived the rest of the motorcycles all left. We could not find anything on my patrol car and the other unit went back to try and find what the motorcyclist had tossed that hit my patrol car but he never did find anything and at the speed it hit my patrol car and the way it exploded it was just powder in the wind at that point.

Clearly he was carrying drugs but there was no way to prove it at that point. I ended up writing him a speeding citation for 105 MPH in a 55 MPH zone, but I bet when he got back with the rest of his buddies they were not happy with him for tossing their drugs, I suspect he got far worse from them then the speeding citation I give him. He was one worried young man when he left that traffic stop so I knew his punishment was not over with.

There was no way I could have kept up with him if he had just put his head down and took off and not stopped as my patrol car was a 1984 LTD II that would top out at 121 MPH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,352 Posts
a lot of new riders do not understand counter steering - they are riding instinctively by the seat of their pants, and when the bike starts to go wide in a turn they do not know what to do to make the bike lean harder.

Some panic and steer the bike like a car, and die.

When I was a teen I rode my friends XR75 around on trails and dirt roads. When I got my first street bike, I was fine on the city streets and riding around town, but the first big sweeping curve at 50mph I did the same thing - tried to steer like a car, went right across the left lane of the street (no cars coming) and off the road on the shoulder, on the opposite side off the street, on both brakes for all I was worth. I had no idea what just happened.

When I told my harley riding friends what happened, they laughed at me and said "COUNTERSTEERING!"

If there had been traffic coming the other way, I would have died when I was 19.

Good time to mention, in Florida in 1977 you did not need a special license or permit to ride a motorcycle. No test, no training: Nothing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
As a born-again newbie, only 4 months back on 2 wheels. I can say .... Counter-steering is the hardest to remember in curves when you think you are on the border line of panicking. I have gotten in the habit of "yelling" at myself ... LOOK! PUSH! LEAN! And you may scrap, its cool. (Seriously, that is what I say in my head in every curve.

I have been lucky that I have not had any incidents happen to me while riding. However, I think this luck is due to the fact make my own luck while riding. (1) I am always looking in mirrors for butt-munchers coming up on my ass. (2) Leaving at a minimum of 2 car lengths in front of me, {35 ft or more} (3) Only PUNCH IT, when I need to get away from some cage I do not feel easy by. (5) Tell myself ... these cagers will not be my demise. (6)And last but not least, I do not ride above my comfort level or what I feel the bike can handle. (which really means, what I feel comfortable doing on the bike.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,352 Posts
.... LOOK! PUSH! LEAN! .(Seriously, that is what I say in my head in every curve)....
LOL! the first summer I had my license, everytime I passed another bike and did the 2 finger wave, I would think in my head "hey bro!".... "hello" ....."Yo!"...

Took a year before I stopped the internal greeting voice in my head and just let my left hand go of the grip, arm swing down and wave, swing arm back up...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,447 Posts
LOL! the first summer I had my license, everytime I passed another bike and did the 2 finger wave, I would think in my head "hey bro!".... "hello" ....."Yo!"...

Took a year before I stopped the internal greeting voice in my head and just let my left hand go of the grip, arm swing down and wave, swing arm back up...
I still have voices in my head, riding or not. Most of the time I turn my radio up so I don't have to hear them. 😀😁😂


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Here is a rare motorcycle crash for you.

I was called out one night around 2:00 AM for a fatal crash, I get to the scene of the crash and it is two motorcycles, one rider deceased and one rider taken to the hospital, now multiple motorcycles being involved in a crash is not rare, but a head-on collision between two motorcycles is as rare as it gets and this case is the only one I ever saw or heard of for that matter.

Motorcycle 1, a Harley Davidson bagger type left a bar, yes the rider was drunk. When he left the bar it is on a four lane road with a grass median (Hancock Bridge Parkway) the impaired rider on the Harley Davidson made a left turn out of the bar parking lot, well when he did that he was in the westbound lanes of travel going eastbound. The impaired rider had to negotiate two curves and go over a bridge all of which cold have resulted in a head-on but he made it through both curves and over the bridge until he got to the next and last curve before you get to U.S. 41.

Motorcycle 2 (Kawasaki sport bike) had just made a left turn from Northbound U.S. 41 onto Hancock Bridge Parkway westbound.

As both the Harley Davidson traveling Eastbound in the Westbound outside lane and the Kawasaki that was traveling WestBound in the Westbound outside lane entered the curve due to darkness neither rider detected the other until they hit head-on in the middle of the curve in the outside lane. The Harley Davidson rider died on the scene likely when he was thrown from the Harley and hit the road face first, the Kawasaki rider was still next to his bike on the ground seriously injured unable to move and his gas tank was leaking gasoline resulting in him laying is a puddle of gas. Lucky no fire started but he laid in the puddle of gas until rescue got to the scene and gasoline soaked into his pours and almost killed him.

Both bikes were determined to have been going right at the speed limit which was 45 MPH and when the bikes hit head-on their forward momentum stopped both bikes and they went down at the point of impact with very little movement from point of impact.

Stop and think for a moment the timelines that had to align for that crash to even occur and how small the frontal area of a motor cycle is and then to have two motorcycles hit perfectly head-on in a curve the odds have to be in the billions yet that September night in 1992 everything aligned perfectly and that fatal motorcycle crash happened.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Damn American. Makes me want to stop riding all together. :wink:
No reason to stop riding just always ride within your skill set and ride defensively, that may mean to just slow down and let that car go that is acting strange (playing with their phone or maybe impaired) or it may mean speed up some and get away from a pack of cars that just itching to make unnecessary lane changes putting you at risk.

Never speed up and get in front of the distracted driver, you are just putting yourself in more danger, distracted drivers can be the texting, web surfacing, facebooking, the driver on the phone talking and not paying attention, or the driver who keeps leaning over and looking for something, and I have even seen them reading books, news papers and for the women putting on make up while driving down the road.

With the impaired driver the same applies, never get in front of the impaired driver, studies have shown that impaired driver at night time follow red taillights so if you are stopped for a light all the impaired driver may sense is your red taillight and he thinks everything is fine and he is in the correct lane and that is when he runs into the back of you.

Most police/emergency vehicles that are rear ended at night by impaired drivers are because of that, the impaired driver saw the lights of the patrol car and just drives right into the back of the stopped patrol car.

Nothing burns me up more than to see police officers parking their cars in the roadway to conduct a traffic stop, more police officers have been killed doing that than I care to remember. FHP policy is to direct the violator to a safe place if they stop in an unsafe area in traffic.

The biggest offenders of parking in the road to conduct a traffic stop are city police followed by county officers. The city of Cape Coral police officers are the worst as every traffic stop they make they park their police car in the travel lanes while conducting their traffic stops. That needlessly blocks a lane of traffic and has resulted in far to many crashes over the years with many officers being injured or killed.

Don't even get me started on fire rescue or better know to traffic homicide units as the evidence eradication teams because they usually get to the scene of a fatal crash before homicide officers are notified and they will just destroy valuable evidence that once destroyed can't be used to prove a criminal case against an impaired driver.

I respect our fire rescue people but man they can screw up a criminal homicide crash scene and it is always the homicide investigators who get the fingers pointed at them when they can't put together an airtight case because evidence was destroyed by fire rescue personnel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
One I saw first hand.

A few years ago, I rode a Suzuki Savage 650 single thumper. A bunch of us decided that we would ride US 129 (Tail of the Dragon). As we were riding, we took part of the BRP to just ride some pretty scenery. If you have been on it, the curves aren't anything tough. But one of our members, well let's just say he had a hard time cornering. I was second in line and he was third. We rounded this corner and it was a reducing radius type turn. The first rider rode like it was nothing, then myself went throught and then "George" started into the curve, but somewhere in the middle he just drifted, drifted the across the yellow line and off the road...I saw his bike go over the embankment, do a loop de loop with him still on it..The fourth in our group stopped first, and by the time I got turned around "George" was sitting on the side of the road with a look of "What happened?" on his face. We started checking him over and on his shirt was a tire mark...He was wearing a jacket. We figured that after his accrobatics, the bike kicked his jacket up and rolled on his shirt...

He cracked a sidecover and bend a rack on the back but a little 5 minute epoxy and some oil and we decided to head home....2 hours away....He made it but was sore in the morning...

I can still see it like it was yeasterday in my mind...

NEVER ride beyond your ability...EVER!

T.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,352 Posts
...
Stop and think for a moment the timelines that had to align for that crash to even occur .... the odds have to be in the billions yet that September night in 1992 everything aligned perfectly and that fatal motorcycle crash happened.

One of the most profound realizations Ive ever had: when you wake up in the morning and sit up in your bed, 99.999% of the things that have happened that allowed or caused you to be able to exist in that moment, are random events that were totally out of your control, that had nothing to do with you personally.

If you stack up all the probabilities, the fact that we even exist at all is for lack of a better word, a miracle (however you want to define or explain it).

For all the things we worry about, and all hopes we have for our lives, we really are mostly just along for the ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
I thought this might be entertaining as well as educational.

I am a retired police officer from the Florida Highway Patrol, 13 years years was spent in traffic homicide with 10 years of that as a supervisor, I have been involved in over 1,000 traffic homicide cases in one way or another.

One case that my squad worked in South Miami on State Road 826 Northbound from NorthBound US 1 was a teenager who was on a Honda 600 cc crotch rocket style bike, his father was with him on one of the big CC engined crotch rocket style bikes. There used to be a Fudd Ruckers burger joint that would have a bike night during the week and the father had brought his son to this bike night. When they left the father entered the State Road 826 expressway Northbound from US 1 Northbound and opened up his bike, this entrance ramp went uphill as it crossed over US 1 so it has a couple of nice curves to it before it straightened out.

The son attempting to keep up with his father on his smaller 600 cc Honda drifted wide crossing onto the right side shoulder where he hit the concrete retaining wall and then his head and upper body hit one of the aluminum light poles killing him.

The father who by then was a good 3/4 of a mile down State Road 826 noticed his son was no longer behind him so he turns around in the Northbound lanes and proceeds to travel against Northbound traffic going Southbound until he came upon his sons crashed motorcycle and his sons body laying on the right shoulder of the roadway.

Come to find out the father had just recently bought the son that motorcycle and he was just learning to ride, trying to keep up with his father he rode past his ability to control the bike.

It was a stupid mistake by the father that led to his sons death that night and one he has to live with the rest of his life.
Just curious how Florida defines homicide. In California it's synonymous with murder which is defined an an intentional act. Here a death would be classified, if pursuing criminal charges, as vehicular manslaughter (caused by a negligent or unlawful act) since it's seldom an intentional act.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Never speed up and get in front of the distracted driver, you are just putting yourself in more danger, distracted drivers can be the texting, web surfacing, facebooking, the driver on the phone talking and not paying attention, or the driver who keeps leaning over and looking for something, and I have even seen them reading books, news papers and for the women putting on make up while driving down the road.
Yea, I am always looking out for those. Luckily I seem to find them more often when I am in the car/truck than on the bike. The few times I have noticed them on the bike, I'll usually just take the next exit and either take a break or just head another way to my destination. Good advice all around though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,352 Posts
homicide means a person has been killed by the actions of another person.

When someone dies in a vehicle wreck, the police need to decide if it was an accident or a homicide, or a suicide.

Calling in the same investigators every time someone has died just makes the protocol more consistent.

Out of the ~40,000 people who die in vehicle accidents in the US every year, about 30,000 of those people were not responsible for what happened, someone else caused the collision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
I heard a really good story yesterday. The guy was telling me that in 1972 he hit 2 young girls with his bike. One was 6 and the other was about 2 and sitting in a carriage. One of the girls died. He went on to say that the police officer helped him remove the baffles in his muffler so the exhaust would be much louder and prevent any other similar accidents. He was saying how the police officer was such a nice guy.

I haven't gotten around to see if I had any feedback from the rest of the province's bikers yet. I'm sure to get ostracized by the vast majority who say that noise prevents accidents. I said that to be able to hit pedestrians with a bike, you have to drive too fast or he was drunk. I'm glad that it did not happen to my kids or grandkids because I would be in prison right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,352 Posts
He ran over children and killed one, and nothing happened to him?

Sounds like bull crap to me. If he was riding in '72 he is old enough to be senile now.

The loud pipes bit has been beaten to death.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
He ran over children and killed one, and nothing happened to him?

Sounds like bull crap to me. If he was riding in '72 he is old enough to be senile now.

The loud pipes bit has been beaten to death.
LOL....I was riding way before that and I bought my first bike in 1969. Yes....it sounds to be crap but things can be weird here in Quebec.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top