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Motorcyclist Dies to Avoid Crash on U.S. 23

He laid down his bike to try and avoid the car that pulled out in front of him, but it wasn’t enough. A motorcyclist in Hartland Township died earlier this month trying to avoid the crash. But his family hopes his death will benefit others.

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, a maroon Pontiac Grand Am caused havoc when it pulled out of an emergency turn-around and into high-speed traffic on U.S. 23 near the Clyde Road exit. The first two vehicles behind the Grand Am were able to swerve out of the way, but the motorcyclist following them, Delbert Arthur Loomis, of Gaines, wasn’t as lucky.

He braked hard, laid his motorcycle down and was thrown onto the roadway. The bike slid into a Sterling tanker truck in a nearby lane.

The maroon Grand Am that caused the crash was nowhere to be seen by the time emergency responders got to the site.

The motorcyclist was taken to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor in critical condition. Loomis died of his injuries early on Friday afternoon. His wife, Julie Loomis, told Detroit’s WXYZ-TV:

“[T]his morning Bert will be flying with the Angels. . . . He had the biggest heart. There is no one who will ever replace him.”

The family also announced that they will be making the most of a tragic situation by offering Loomis’s remains to organ donation. On Friday, they announced  they were waiting “to see how many lives Bert will save by being a donor.”

A reckless driver can ruin the day, or the life, of other motorists on the road. The driver of the maroon Pontiac Grand Am may not have thought much of the decision to make an abrupt turn out of the emergency lane. He or she may have thought it was a convenient way to turn around or avoid traffic. But the decision caused two drivers to have to take panicked evasive maneuvers.

Then the driver’s bad decision put him or her in contact with a motorcyclist, who cannot always react as quickly as a four-wheeled vehicle. Motorcyclists often take special training to learn how to react to these kinds of emergency situations. Even so, because they are riding on two wheels instead of four, they are less stable and can sometimes wipe out when trying to avoid a crash.

If you find yourself driving near a motorcyclist, give them a break. Give them enough space to react if you have to brake suddenly or change lanes. And make sure you take a second look before moving into their lane. By making better decisions around motorcyclists, you can avoid a spill and maybe even save a life.

David Christensen is a motorcycle accident attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He and his team help motorcycle accident victims get the insurance benefits they need to heal from their injuries. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.