ORANGE PARK, Fla. – After a horrific motorcycle crash Saturday in Orange Park killed a 19-year-old, many News4JAX Insiders have flooded the comments with questions about the cause of the incident as the Florida Highway Patrol continues investigating.
The crash happened around 8:30 a.m at the intersection of US-17 and Holly Point Road. Investigators said a 67-year-old driver was heading north on US-17 and tried to turn on Holly Point Road across the southbound lanes. Then, a 19-year-old driving a motorcycle crashed into the right side of the sedan, FHP said.
Since the story was published, Insiders have wondered who’s at fault, but FHP said it still doesn’t know at this point because there are still two critical unanswered questions: Did the 67-year-old driver look to make sure they could clear the southbound lanes, and was the motorcycle driver speeding?
Numerous drivers in Orange Park told News4JAX that speed can be an issue on the busy highway.
One Insider said that the result of the crash isn’t a road development issue, but an awareness-while-driving issue.
“I think you have to be aware for sure. You have to take an extra look to make sure you don’t have a motorcyclist in your blind spot or something. I don’t think it has anything to do with how the roads are constructed around here,” Austin Caico said.
Others said it’s an issue of speed.
“Everyone wants to run you over. Everyone seems to be in a rush around here,” Evelyn Vergara said.
News4JAX spoke to a motorcycle safety instructor, Michael Dobbs. He said there are two critical safety issues when it comes to operating a motorcycle.
The first is for motorcycle drivers.
“You must be skilled at stopping your motorcycle. You must constantly have a space cushion, where you’re constantly looking left, right, front and back,” Dobbs said.
Dobbs also said cars are good at keeping out sound so it’s imperative that car drivers are aware of their surroundings and watch out for motorcycles.
“The cars are on the road right now are quieter. You can’t hear a motorcycle, so you must be constantly looking on both sides,” Dobbs said.
The 67-year-old driver survived and suffered minor injuries. But looking at the sedan’s damage, the passenger side was completely crushed, meaning if there was a passenger sitting there, they may not have survived.