This motorcycle and truck smash is not as complicated as it looks


Warning: Although no one was killed in the video below, there are conflicts that could annoy some viewers.

The video starts out the same way many people do in your and my feed. A bunch of great cars are turning from a small road to a big road, it looks like they are leaving a car show. We’ve seen enough of these things that we’re already hoping that some Mustang-driving clown will get a little more excited at the application of his right foot and end up periwinkle in the scene, or maybe try to catch left, then right. One slide, another innocent car coming the other way before lightly t-boning.

But this video is different. Yes, several nice cars from the 1950’s and 60’s left the junction with a left turn, but then the same thing started before a truck stopped in the middle of the road. Suddenly a motorcycle emerges from nowhere, its lane is blocked by pickups, the speed is too fast to stop on time. The bike pushes to the side of the pickup, hitting both the rider and the Pelion passenger hard on the hood of the truck and on the road surface. The impact is so severe that we see the truck’s passenger being thrown from the right side of the pickup cab.

Did the fool in the pickup stop like that? Didn’t he see the bike? This is what I first thought when I saw the clip, and you have a good chance to think the same, especially if you are riding a motorcycle and know very well how much danger a careless driver can put you in danger.

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But reading the testimonies from those who were there, there was much more to the story, and it makes me think about the judgments we give every week when we see snapshots of the accident and there’s a reason we don’t know. I think and blame.

In the case of this particular accident, what you didn’t know by looking at the few seconds involved in the collision was that the cars and trucks were taking part in an organized Function 4 Junction cruise event in Oregon’s Junction City. The event is open to vehicles built before 1974 and was established in 2003, according to Register guard News website.

Participants were driving on a closed section of the road, exiting Third Avenue and heading for Highway 99, blocking southbound vehicles from entering the route and allowing paraded vehicles to go only one way. According to people at the scene, the biker was in a bar at the bottom of the road, and although he was not intoxicated, he drove around the barriers and off the road against the flow of traffic. And seeing the look and sound of the bike, he was moving quite fast.

A view of the intersection from Highway 99 looking north. Credit: Google

So it seems that, contrary to the initial situation, the motorcyclist was to blame. I wonder how many of the thousands of crash videos I’ve watched over the years have similar hidden backstory? And I’ll admit that since I wasn’t there, I still can’t claim to know about the conflict and why it happened. Even knowing the situation and knowing that the truck was on the right track, you can ask if he had a chance to see the bike before taking it out.

We don’t even know the current situation of the unfortunate people who are at the center of it. News reports said the three involved were taken to the hospital, out of curiosity, two of them were truck passengers, who were released later that night instead of both bikers. Probably the third person who needed treatment was Pelion, who suffered a tragic fall. Fortunately no one died, and we can be thankful for that. Accidents happen and we all make mistakes for all sorts of reasons. Let’s hope these people get well soon.

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