Milton, DE- The Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit is currently investigating a serious motorcycle crash that occurred last night at the intersection of Coastal Highway (SR1) and Hudson Road.
Preliminary investigation indicates the incident happened around 7:00 p.m. Friday September 18, 2015 as Amanda L. McDonald, 27 of Lewes, was operating a Mercury Montego eastbound on Hudson Road stopped at the stop sign waiting to cross over Coastal Highway (SR1) southbound lanes. Kenneth R. Tarburton Sr., 54 of Wilmington, was operating a 2008 Harley-Davidson motorcycle southbound on SR1 in the right lane approaching Hudson Road. McDonald failed to see the motorcycle and proceeded into the southbound lanes where the motorcycle struck the left rear of the Mercury, ejecting Tarburton and his passenger.
Kenneth Tarburton, who was wearing an approved DOT helmet, was airlifted from the scene by Delaware State Police Aviation (Trooper 2) to Christiana Medical Center where he was admitted in critical condition.
Elizabeth A. Tarburton, 53 of Wilmington (Wife), was transported by EMS to Beebe Healthcare where she was admitted with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Amanda McDonald and a juvenile passenger, were both properly restrained and were transported to Beebe Healthcare where they were treated and released as a precautionary measure without injuries.
The Collision Reconstruction Unit is continuing their investigation into this incident. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in this case and charges are pending. SR1 southbound lanes at Hudson Road were closed for approximately two and a half hours while the crash was investigated and cleared.
With the Ocean City, Maryland Bike Week in full swing, troopers are offering tips to motorists and motorcyclists alike to "Share the Road."
Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. Drivers of other passenger vehicles should always remember to follow these steps to help keep motorcyclists safe:
- Allow a motorcyclist the full lane width. Although it may seem as though there is enough room in a traffic lane for an automobile and a motorcycle, the motorcycle needs the full room to maneuver safely. Do not share the lane.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows the motorcyclist to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
- Remember that motorcyclists are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or missed in a quick look due to their smaller size. Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
- Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals usually are not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
- Remember that road conditions which are minor annoyances to passenger vehicles pose major hazards to motorcyclists. Be aware that motorcyclists may need to change speed or adjust their position within a lane suddenly in reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings, and grooved pavement.
- Allow more following distance, three or four seconds, when following a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. And don’t tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
Motorcyclists have responsibilities too, by following the rules of the roadway, being alert to other drivers, and always wearing protective gear.
But too often, in a crash, the drivers of other vehicles involved say they never saw the motorcyclist and failed to respond in time. This is no excuse. Too many lives are being lost.
Our message to all drivers is: “Share the Road” with motorcycles. Look twice before pulling out or making turns. The headlight of a motorcycle may appear far away, but they can be deceiving.