The driver of a pickup truck that struck a motorcycle, killing the couple, says he did not see the bike until it was too late. It is not yet clear how this could be, given that this motorcycle accident happened before 8 p.m. on a North Carolina highway not far from Burlington. However it happened, this deadly incident is a solemn reminder of what can happen when car and truck drivers fail to look out for motorcycles.

The victims were riding north on N.C. 87 the evening of Oct. 11. A pickup truck driven by a 50-year-old man was also on the northbound side of the highway, but was going faster than the motorcycle and overcame them near an intersection with a side street.

The motorcycle slowed down and put on its right turn signal. The truck driver later claimed that the signal was the first he saw of the bike and its riders. He “was trying to prepare to stop,” according to a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper, but could not stop in time to avoid hitting the motorcycle from behind at full highway speed. Both riders, a 41-year-old man and 40-year-old woman, who appear to have been a married couple, died at the scene.

The driver was charged with two misdemeanors and his bond was set at $2,500. Perhaps as the investigation continues, felony charges could be made against him. For example, it is possible that he was distracted by a smartphone or other device that caused him not to see the motorcycle in time to respect the victims’ right to the road.

Source: The Burlington Times-News, “Husband and wife killed in motorcycle crash,” Oct. 11, 2013