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Scott McDonald and Associates PLLC

Motorcycles and Small Children Don't Mix

Washington summers are prime time for Washington residents to clean up the motorcycle and take it for a joyride. When motorcycle riders mix their bikes with their small children tragic Washington motorcycle accidents can occur.  

A news story out of Las Vegas, Nevada tells the horrific story of when a motorcycle ride with a 7 year old child goes bad.  A father of two young boys, one 8 years old the other 7 years old, took a joy ride one evening in early May 2010.  Neither of the boys were wearing helmets.  The father put the 8 year-old in front of him on the bike, while the 7 year-old was on the passenger seat behind the father.

By all accounts the father was driving at a fairly slow speed of about 25 mph.  However, when a car made an unexpected and illegal u-turn directly in front of them the father had no where to go.  He slammed on his brakes skidding but the bike still slammed into the side of the car.  The 8 year-old was held on the bike by the father's body weight being pushed forward at impact.  The same was not true for the 7 year-old on the rear passenger seat. The rear tire lifted at impact and the 7 year-old boy was catapulted off the bike flying 20 feet in the air before landing on the pavement on the opposite side of the car.

A witness to the accident said the boy look like a rag flying through the air.  The witness immediately rushed over to help the boy, but he was already lying there lifeless.  The 7 year-old suffered catastrophic and fatal injuries as a result of the motorcycle joyride.   

The car driver is at fault for the accident and will likely face a wrongful death lawsuit.  However, the father is also likely to face criminal charges for putting these two boys on his motorcycle without helmets.  Helmets are required for all motorcycle riders in Nevada.  

If you're a parent and your small child begs you for a ride on your big motorcycle.  Please say no.  Your best intentions can't make up for those unexpected motorcycle accidents on Washington roads.  Especially when kids are prone to horrible injuries in these crashes.  The family in Nevada not only has to deal with the tragic loss of a son and brother, but are faced with a father looking at charges which carry the possibility of significant jail time.

Protect your family and yourself and leave the motorcycle riding to the adults.