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Texas soldier dies in 3-vehicle motorcycle crash

A Fort Hood soldier thrown from his motorcycle by one car was struck and killed by a second vehicle in Killeen. The fatal Texas auto accident remains under investigation by local authorities.

The car accident happened on a Sunday afternoon around 2 o’clock while the motorcyclist was headed northbound on a city street. The driver of a Dodge Charger exited a parking lot in an attempt to make a turn into southbound traffic. The motorcycle smashed into the rear of the Charger as the car moved across a center lane.

The motorcyclist was ejected and landed in the middle of the northbound street. The driver of a Honda Civic apparently was unable to avoid a collision with the biker’s body. Emergency crews rushed the victim to a U.S. Army medical facility. The 37-year-old Fort Hood soldier was pronounced dead about 40 minutes following the crash.

The Killeen Police Department is heading the investigation which will focus on the reasons for the separate but dependent accidents. One of the first questions officials will try to resolve is whether the Dodge Charger driver failed to yield to the motorcyclist.

Motorcyclists are frequently hurt or killed by drivers who misjudge speed or dismiss the size of a two-wheeled motor vehicle. If the Dodge driver pulled out in front of the motorcycle, the driver could be criminally charged for the soldier’s initial injuries. What may be tougher to determine is the extent of the motorcyclist’s injuries before he was struck by the Honda.

Did criminal negligence occur once, twice or at all? Officials will want to know whether the soldier was speeding and whether the Honda driver really had no opportunity to swerve or stop before hitting the victim.

Negligence would also be critical to establish for a wrongful death lawsuit, filed by family members or through the soldier’s estate. A spouse or parents’ financial suffering and non-economic hardships can be alleviated through a civil action.

Source: kwtx.com, "Crash Claims Life Of Central Texas Motorcycle Rider," Paul J. Gately, Oct. 22, 2012

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