June 2010

Catawba County Motorcycle Crash on North Carolina Highway 10 Injures Two Motorcycle Riders

June 29, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Two motorcycle riders sustained serious injuries on Thursday morning when they were thrown from the bike they were riding in a Catawba County motorcycle accident close to the intersection of Highway 10 and Bethany Church. According to witnesses, the motorcycle driver was operating the bike at a speed of over 100 mph when it crashed into a 1989 Mazda pickup truck that had stopped to make a left turn.

Police say that the pickup truck driver never saw the motorcycle. A small hill at the intersection made it hard to see.

The motorcycle’s driver, Bruce Offenbacker Jr. of Catawba, was thrown 97 feet while his girlfriend, Jasmine Shope of Newton, was thrown 154 feet. At the North Carolina motorcycle accident site, Offenbacker complained that he couldn’t feel his legs. He sustained multiple broken bones and fractures. Shope was admitted to the hospital in critical condition.

A mother and son who were riding in the pickup truck were treated at the hospital for minor injuries. The pickup truck driver refused to be transported to the hospital following the Catawba County motorcycle collision.

Common Causes of North Carolina motorcycle crashes:

• Speeding
• Distracted driving
• Poor visibility
• Road hazards and defects
• Texting or talking on a cell phone while driving
• Motorcycle defects
• Drunk driving

70% of motorcycle accidents involving other vehicles occur at intersections.

Motorcycle riders only have their helmets and safety gear to protect them during a collision. Many motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injuries for the victims. If you or your loved one got hurt in a North Carolina motorcycle accident that you believe was caused by the other driver, you may have grounds for pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.

2 Injured In Catawba County Motorcycle Crash, WSOCTV, June 24, 2010

Two critically injured in accident, Hickory Record, June 25, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Motorcycle Accidents, Nolo

Motorcycle Safety Foundation

Avoid Charlotte, North Carolina Car Accidents By Adhering to NHTSA Advisory on Safe Summer Driving

June 26, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to remind US motorists to drive safely during the summer driving season. Millions of Americans are expected to take to the roads over the next few months. To prevent these excursions or vacations from turning tragic, the NHTSA wants to remind motorists to:

• Avoid distracted driving, including texting or talking on a cell phone while behind a steering wheel.
• Stay up-to-date on auto maintenance.
• Make sure to inspect your tires and ensure that they are properly inflated.
• Obey the speed limit.
• Make sure everyone in the car is wearing an appropriate seat belt or child safety seat.
• Don’t leave children unattended near or in a vehicle.
• Don’t drive while exhausted or drowsy.
• Don’t drink and drive.

The NHTSA is reminding parents of teen drivers that there are preventive measures that they can take to prevent their teenagers from becoming involved in a deadly traffic crash this summer. Because many of them have more free time now that school is out, drivers in the 15 to 20 age group are at higher risk of being involved in an auto collision—already the leading cause of teenager deaths. The number of teen drunk driving fatalities are also known to go up during the summer months.

Our Charlotte, North Carolina car accident lawyers are committed to discouraging teens from driving drunk. Every year, we select a number of high school students as winners of the Michael A. DeMayo Scholarship Program. The recipients are selected based on their SAT scores, grades, community involvement, and original presentations that teach other kids about how dangerous it is to drive while under the influence. This year, winners each won a $2,500 college scholarship.

Teen driver risks in high gear over summer, USA Today, June 21, 2010

Consumer Advisory: Make Safety Your Constant Companion This Summer Driving Season, NHTSA, June 22, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Department of Transportation

70 Rules of Defensive Driving, Road Trip America

Charlotte Teacher Fatally Struck in Union County, North Carolina Motorcycle Accident

June 21, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

51-year-old Donald James Fumo died on June 6 when he was involved in a deadly Union County, North Carolina motorcycle accident. The Charlotte teacher was fatally injured when his bike was rear-ended by an SUV. The impact of the crash sent his motorcycle into a stopped vehicle, resulting in a motor vehicle crash with two other motor vehicles.

Police are blaming Hardin Forsyth, a Matthews resident, of causing the fatal motorcycle collision. They are accusing him of driver distraction, driver inattention, and failure to reduce speed. Forsyth says that he tried to step on his brakes to avoid hitting the motorcycle, but was unable to do so in enough time to prevent the Union County traffic crash.

Three other people were also injured during the multi-vehicle crash. Police are still investigating the North Carolina motorcycle accident.

In another North Carolina motorcycle accident, 36-year-old Asheville resident Johnnie Nelson Faircloth Jr. died when he was struck by a car on June 11. The alleged driver, 22-year-old Aron Clifford Hallum, left the vehicle he was driving and his two passengers to flee the crash site but later turned himself in. He has been charged with driving with a revoked license and felony hit-and-run. A female passenger who had been riding with Faircloth also was injured, but her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

North Carolina Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists have the same rights on the road as to the occupants of motor vehicles, buses, and trucks. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to look out for them, which can result in catastrophic accidents. It is devastating to lose the person you love in a motorcycle crash that was caused by another party’s negligence.

East Meckenburg High School Teacher Dies in Motor Vehicle Crash, Charlotte.com, June 7, 2010

New details in motorcycle crash which killed a Charlotte teacher, WBTV, June 7, 2010

NC man charged in crash that killed motorcyclist, Reflector.com/AP, June 12, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Motorcycles, NHTSA

Hurt Report Summary

At Least Nine People Killed in Caldwell County Car Crashes in 2010

June 16, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

North Carolina Highway Patrol reports that at least nine victims have already died in Caldwell County motor vehicle crashes this year, four of them in the last two weeks. Two of the fatalities occurred over the weekend.

Both Caldwell County, North Carolina car accidents were single-vehicle crashes. In both cases, speeding was cited as a contributing factor. On Friday, 45-year-old Melissa Ann Greer died when her Honda veered off the side of the road, down an embankment, and overturned. The Lenoir driver was thrown from her vehicle and died at the North Carolina car accident site.

Eight hours later, 45-year-old Morris Eugene Austin died when his truck all went off the road as he entered a slight curve. Police say that his vehicle struck a utility pole before overturning seven times. Austin was ejected during the rollover crash, and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

If someone you love was killed in a car accident, it is a good idea to consult with a Charlotte, North Carolina wrongful death lawyer immediately. Even if the accident was a single-vehicle crash, it is still a good idea to seek legal counsel in the event that there are parties that should be held liable. For example, a single auto crash might be the fault of a negligent auto manufacturer, the municipality in charge of maintaining a road, or because a repair shop’s maintenance work was faulty. While suing any liable parties won’t bring your loved one back, it can help relieve some of the financial burden caused by your loss.

In another recent Caldwell County traffic accident, five people were injured and one person was killed when two pickup trucks were involved in a head-on crash. A third vehicle was unable to avoid crashing into the colliding trucks.

Deadly weekend on county roads, iStockAnaylist, June 15, 2010

Accident in Caldwell County kills 1, injures 5, KVUE, June 1, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Department of Transportation

Caldwell County, North Carolina

Rockwell Man Struck Six Bicyclists in Cabarrus County Hit-and-Run Accident

June 10, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

A Rockwell who turned himself in after he struck a group of bicyclists with his SUV and then fled the Cabarrus County bicycle accident site faces six felony counts of hit and run. The North Carolina bicycle accident occurred on the evening of May 19 when Daniel Burton Wilson crossed the the double line on the road and hit the riders.

Although six cyclists were reportedly hit during the North Carolina motor vehicle accident, only four of them were taken to the hospital. Two of them were treated at the accident site. Their injuries ranged from a broken collarbone to a concussion. Among the injury victims, Concord bicyclist Tim Sigmon had to undergo three leg surgeries, while Mt. Pleasant bicyclist Jack King will have to undergo surgery on his collarbone.

The group of cyclists that Wilson struck belong to the Subaru-Gary Fisher Cycling Team. They were reportedly riding in a single-file line at about 30 mph when the SUV hit them.

It was just last month that the team’s manager, Adam Little, died when he was hit by a car. The Charlotte, North Carolina man was riding his bike along the NC Highway 49 shoulder close to the intersection of US Highway 601 when a car drove onto to the shoulder striking him from behind. According to a police report, the 35-year-old bicyclist was thrown into the air before landing on the grass.

Stacy Renee Shaw, the driver of the vehicle that struck Little, is charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle, failure to notify the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles of an address change, and a child restraint violations. The 24-year-old driver says she did not see Little on his bike.

Little leaves behind his wife Melissa and their two daughters.

Man in cyclists’ incident pleaded guilty earlier, Salisbury Post, June 3, 2010

SUV driver charged with ramming into elite cycling team, WFAE.org, May 21, 2010

Funeral details for cyclist struck and killed, March 17, 2010

Distracted Driving?: Unfinished Text Found in Vehicle Involved in North Carolina Car Accident that Injured Two Pedestrians

June 4, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Was the driver that struck two pedestrians in Wrightsville Beach early Sunday morning text messaging while driving? Police say that they found a partially composed text on the screen of driver Jedediah Woodcock’s phone.

Woodcock, 32 , is accused of driving drunk when he struck Lindsey Casey and John Marc Miller. Casey, who was thrown 22 feet during the Wrightsville Beach traffic accident, broke her pelvis in six places, tore ligaments in her knee, suffered internal bleeding, and damaged her vertebrae. Miller, who was thrown 14 feet, had to have a rod inserted in his broken left leg. Witnesses say Woodcock was speeding in his car and “barely hit his brakes” when he struck the two pedestrians.

Following the North Carolina pedestrian accident, Woodcock blew .09 on a Breathalyzer test. Police also found marijuana in his vehicle. The 32-year-old motorist is charged with two counts of aggravated serious injury by a motor vehicle, driving while impaired, driving during revocation, and possession of marijuana. He has a prior DWI conviction.

Negligent Driving
Drivers must not only obey traffic laws, but they also must refrain from doing anything that would distract them from paying attention to the traffic around them or impair their reflexes and judgment in any way.

Drunk driving, distracted driving, texting while driving, talking on the cell phone, drowsy driving, driver inattention, driver inattention, and reckless driving are some of the more common reasons why North Carolina traffic crashes occur. A motorist who engages in careless or reckless driving can be held liable for North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death.

2 pedestrians hospitalized after being hit by driver Sunday in Wrightsville Beach, StarNewsOnline, June 3, 2010

Unfinished text found in car that hit pedestrians, WWAY3, June 4, 2010

Related Web Resources:


Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety, CDC