A woman from Jackson, MS died over the weekend after the motorcycle she was riding was involved in a terrible accident with a Fred's 18-wheeler. According to police, the deadly accident shut down I-55 southbound lanes for several hours Friday morning.
According to Mississippi Highway Patrol, Steffi Mitchell, 29, was riding her 2005 Suzuki GXS motorcycle when it collided with the back of a tractor-trailer that had slowed down abruptly in a lane of traffic. The Madison Police Department says they were called to the scene of the crash a little before 8 a.m. Friday near exit 108 on I-55.
Interestingly, I was a few cars in front of the wreck. When I heard the collision, I pulled over and ran back to help, but unfortunately, upon walking up on the scene, it was clear that there was nothing I could do to help the poor lady.
Emergency responders say Mitchell was pronounced dead on the scene of the accident. Witnesses say the severity of the motorcyclist's injuries were so great that she never stood a chance. Police say that the accident remains under investigation and that they are not sure whether charges will be filed until they have had a chance to reconstruct the accident scene.
Everyone understands that when compared to cars and trucks, motorcycles are much less visible and much more vulnerable than other motor vehicles. The fact is that a motorcyclist's vulnerability is immense, and the potential for a deadly motorcycle accident is almost always present, even for the most responsible riders. According to statistics, if a motorcycle rider is involved in an accident, the likelihood of injury is unbelievably high: 98% of those involved in multiple vehicle accidents and 96% of those in single vehicle accidents suffer serious injuries.
When a motorcycle accident does occur, the rider's rate of injury is astronomical when compared to that of a driver or passenger in a car or truck. According to the federal government, per mile traveled, there were 35 times more deaths from motorcycle accidents than from car accidents. That kind of difference really puts in perspective just how dangerous it can be to hop onto a motorcycle in Mississippi.
If you're going to ride a motorcycle, having proper safety gear is certainly important. However, the best way to protect yourself is to avoid being in an accident in the first place. Though this is not always within your control, motorcyclists can take some action to improve their safety on the roadways. First and foremost, remain aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep an eye on other drivers and make sure that they can see you. Pay close attention to their movements and be sure they see you whenever you try to pass another vehicle. Follow all traffic laws scrupulously and avoid speeding or taking other unnecessary risks.
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a car, truck or motorcycle accident resulting from someone's negligence, please contact the Jackson / Ridgeland auto accident lawyers at Kobs & Philley at (601) 856-7800.
Source: "Victim ID'd in fatal Madison Co. motorcycle accident," by Emily Lane, published at ClarionLedger.com.