Biker Charged with Manslaughter and DUI in Crash that Killed Passenger

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A Flagstaff motorcycle crash last year that left a passenger dead has led to charges against the driver of driving under the influence, driving under the influence of drugs, and manslaughter.

The biker, an 18-year-old man from Flagstaff, met a 19-year-old female at the Flagstaff mall and offered her a ride on his motorcycle, which she accepted. While still behind the mall, the driver dropped his bike and the passenger hit the ground. The female passenger died several days later from her injuries while the driver was not injured in the crash. Tests after the collision showed marijuana in the driver’s system.

The biker claimed that he swerved to avoid another vehicle and therefore was not guilty of manslaughter as charged. Police have countered that the biker was driving under the influence and lost control of his bike, which in turn caused the injuries that resulted in the passenger’s death. Investigators have also noted that the driver was cited for speeding twice in the six month period before the fatal collision.

Reports indicate that the passenger was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

In 2011, there were 680 collisions in Arizona where the driver appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Of those 680 crashes, 40 involved fatalities and another 310 involved other injuries. Motorcycle crashes often result in much greater injuries than car crashes so it is not surprising that there were 16 motorcycle accidents with a driver under the influence of drugs that resulted in nine fatalities in Arizona in 2011. This means well over 50 percent of all motorcycle collisions with a driver under the influence of drugs resulted in death where only 6 percent of all car crashes with the same conditions resulted in a fatality.

The numbers are shocking. A biker who crashes while under the influence of drugs is likely to kill himself or his passenger.

Arizona law makes it illegal to operate a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs, yet bikers still do so all too often. This creates a risk for all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on and along the roadways where the biker travels and the consequences are all too often deadly.

If you have been the victim of a crash caused by a motorcyclist driving under the influence, you may have a claim for any personal injuries you sustained. A claim can be made for your medical bills, pain and suffering, wages you were unable to earn while you were not working, loss of a normal life, scarring/disfigurement, mental anguish, and any other expenses you may have incurred.

If you have been injured in a crash or a loved one or family member has been hurt or killed by a biker under the influence, call the motorcycle crash lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a consultation. We know the law and we are ready to fight for your recovery. Call us today at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191.

Resources:

Manslaughter charged in pot DUI motorcycle crash, by Eric Betz, Arizona Daily Sun, published April 29, 2013.

Arizona Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2011, The Arizona Department of Transportation Intermodal Transportation Division, 2011.

Prior Blog Posts:

Phoenix Drunk Driver Runs Red Light, Causes Fatal Collision, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published April 22, 2013.

NBC Sports Personality Al Michaels Arrested for DUI, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published April 21, 2013.