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Billings motorcyclist dies in crash near MetraPark


When a motorcycle is involved in a collision with a car or truck, the motorcyclist is at a severe disadvantage. Motorcyclists lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, and are at greater risk of being severely injured or killed than occupants of larger vehicles. When the driver of the larger vehicle is intoxicated, the risk is even more deadly.

Recently in Billings a 56-year-old motorcyclist was killed in a collision with a pickup truck with an alleged drunk driver behind the wheel. The accident happened at about 1 a.m. at Expo and 1st Avenue North near MetraPark. According to the Billings Police Department, the 34-year-old man driving the pickup failed to stop at a red light. He crashed into the motorcycle, which had stopped for the light. The pickup driver tried to flee the scene but was stopped by a Yellowstone County sheriff's deputy who noticed extensive front end damage on the truck.

The driver of the pickup has been charged with vehicular homicide. Prosecutors say he was so drunk at the time he was arrested that he had no memory of the accident.

A fatal drunk driving accident can devastate a family. When the drunk driver is caught and faces criminal prosecution, the family may experience some sense of justice. The family can also get some relief through the civil justice system. In a wrongful death lawsuit the next of kin can recover damages for loss of companionship and loss of support. It can't undo the tragedy, but it can make things a little easier for grieving family members.

Source: KTVQ.com, "Billings motorcyclist killed in hit-and-run accident," Jon Stepanek, Aug. 22, 2015

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