Every year motorcycle deaths and injuries spike in the summer in South Carolina when more riders are on the roads. However, one crash has made headlines because a Christian motorcycle club accused police of aggressively running them off the road, causing a number of injuries.
The incident occurred at the end of last month in Jamestown, South Carolina. The group says what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop for running a stop sign, got out of hand.
Almost 50 members of the Disciple Christian Motorcycle Club (DCMC) were riding through the town of Jamestown to attend a fundraising event for the American Diabetes Association, the Post and Courier reported.
The news report said the bikers performed a "routine biking practice" as they passed through a stop sign in which two of the bikers wait at the stop sign to watch for oncoming traffic, while the rest of them ride through.
However, local police did not see the practice as acceptable and pulled over the bikers for running a stop sign. The motorcyclists at the scene claimed the police aggressively forced them to fall off their bikes by coming up on them in the left lane. The Post and Courier reported on how multiple bikers fell from their bikes as a result, and three had to seek treatment at the nearby hospital for their injuries.
The DCMC retained a lawyer in the wake of the incident. Police officers involved in the traffic stop argued that they performed a routine practice in attempting to get the bikers' attention and pull them over.
Jamestown Police Chief Jay High told The Post and Courier that the police officers' in-car video would indicate police officers they were not at fault in the accident.
"A large group of motorcycles disregarded a stop sign and while a county deputy was attempting a traffic stop from the rear, my officer activated his blue lights and siren and began passing riders on the left, in another lane to catch up to the foremost riders," he said in the Post and Courier report.
Accidents involving motorcyclists are very often more serious than those involving cars and trucks due to the lack of protection afforded to the rider. The death toll of motorcyclists has increased markedly in recent years.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths of motorcyclists on the roads of America almost doubled between 1999 and 2008.
From 2001 to 2008, more than 34,000 motorcyclists were killed and about 1.2 million people were treated in an emergency room in the United States for a non-fatal motorcycle-related injury.
A report on 10 WISTV.com found motorcyclist deaths were increasing in South Carolina as the baby boomer generation bought high powered bikes. More than half of the riders who died were not wearing helmets.
One of the leading causes of motorcyclist deaths and injuries is car drivers who fail to notice a motorcycle. If you have been injured due to the fault of another or you have lost a loved one, you should call our Columbia motorcycle injury lawyers at 803.748.9990.