A road defect may have been a factor in the motorcycle crash that killed a U.S. Army veteran in North Augusta, SC on Monday, January 18. An official from the coroner’s office says that Staff Sergeant Anthony M. Ramirez, 32, hit a significant depression in the pavement before losing control of his Harley Davidson. Speed may also have been a factor in the incident, according to an officer on the scene. The accident took place on Bolin Road at 6:40 pm.
The road defect was a three inch depression which, when hit at high speeds, was enough to cause the bike to go out of control, according to the current understanding of the North Augusta Public Safety, which is looking into what caused the accident. Ramirez was also not wearing a helmet.
South Carolina does not require motorcylists to wear helmets unless they are under 21.
Motorcycle crash victim was a veteran and a father
Sergeant Ramirez was a Staff Sergeant at Fort Gordon, GA who had served rounds of duty in Camp Casey, Koreas, Fort Carson, Colorado, and Fort Riley, Kansas. He was part of the Kansas National Guard and became active duty at Fort Gordon in July of 2001, where he served as a Communications and Electronics Installer. He returned to Fort Gordon in February of 2014 and functioned as Advanced Individual Instructor.
The victim is survived by his wife and daughter, who is only six years old. Neighbors heard the accident that ended in his death and many commented about how tragic it was that he lost his own life so soon. Neighbor Gary McCall remarked, “”I just feel bad he has some children. I mean, he was 32. He was a kid.” McCall also expressed dismay that Ramirez wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time: “Well it’s stupid! You don’t have any other protection.”
Motorcycle accidents and liability issues
The crash highlights the complexity of liability issues where motorcycle accidents are concerned. If speed was a factor, then Ramirez himself may be partly responsible for the crash. On the other hand, the defect in the road appears to have been a significant factor in Ramirez losing control of the bike. If a road was improperly designed, constructed, or maintained, the parties responsible may be liable in a court of law.
Road defects like potholes, faulty guardrails, uneven pavements or seams in the pavements can have serious consequences for motorists and especially exposed motorcyclists. In some situations, a government entity may be responsible for such issues. However, there are time limits for filing a wrongful death or personal injury claim. It is therefore important to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
If you or a family member have been injured or lost a life in a motorcycle accident, South Carolina personal injury lawyers at The Jeffcoat Firm can answer your questions and discuss options for legal recourse. Call (803) 200-2000 to set up a free consultation today.