Dennis Riggs, and Oakland Park, Florida motorcyclist, was killed in a collision with driver Natalie Joya on Sunday, news sources report. Riggs, 38, was pronounced dead at the Broward Health Medical Center after the crash. Joya, 19, was not injured. Police are currently investigating the matter and have not yet pressed charges. It is unclear whether the Riggs family will file for damages.
According to reports, the accident occurred in the 3900 block of North Powerline Road near the corner of Northwest 39th Street. Powerline Road is a key highway connecting several South Florida cities; it has six lanes and is divided by a concrete barrier. Northwest 39th Street, a smaller road, has two lanes; traffic on 39th Street must stop for a stop sign before merging onto North Powerline Road.
The accident occurred around 5:00 Sunday evening, sources say. Riggs was northbound on North Powerline Road, and Joya was westbound on Northwest 39th Street. Joya reportedly started to make a U-turn, crossing the northbound lanes of Powerline Road as she did. Riggs ended up crashing into her van, reports say.
Riggs was rushed to the Broward Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead of his injuries shortly after his arrival. Joya remained at the scene of the crash and is cooperating with the police investigation, sources say. Sheriff’s Office traffic homicide detectives were on the scene investigating following the crash. It is too early to tell whether Joya was making an illegal turn at the time of the crash, or if she will be cited or charged.
Intersections are high-risk crash areas throughout the United States, since intersecting roads create opportunity for confusion and driver error. In 2007, about 40% of all car accidents in the U.S. – 2.4 million – occurred at intersections, according to the Federal Highway Administration. That number includes 21% of all fatal accidents that year. Motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, as well as motorists, must be extra vigilant to ensure safety at intersections by paying attention to traffic signals and signs and staying aware of what others are doing.
While intersections are dangerous, U-turns also cause their fair share of trouble. Motorcyclist Camil Paquet was killed earlier this year after he was struck by driver Adam Daszkal, sources report. Paquet, 67, was later pronounced dead at Delray Medical Center. Daszkal, 17, was found to be under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash and was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of DUI manslaughter. His bail was set at $50,000. It is unclear whether he obtained legal aid.
Reports say the accident occurred at about 1:15 p.m. on March 23, 2013. Daszkal was driving with two friends to the beach in a 2008 Infiniti at the time. On the way to the beach, Daszkal allegedly shared a marijuana cigarette with one of his friends. When the group reached the beach, Daszkal purportedly made a U-turn while looking for a parking spot and collided with Paquet’s Harley Davidson. Parquet was taken to the hospital, where he later died.