Biker's death sparks plea for roadway safety

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The motorcycle community is mourning the loss of one of its own this weekend.  Forty seven year-old David Alan Hutchinson died in a collision with a car Wednesday morning while on his way to work.  Many of his friends and family believe his death, as well many other motorcycle-related deaths, could have been avoided.

Anita Hutchinson struggles to picture life without her husband and friend, David.

"He's supposed to be in Illinois with me right now," said Anita.  "And he's not.  He wont ever be."

She describes him as a kind, fun-loving and generous man who served his country in the Navy and his community any way he could.  His friends described him in a similar light.

"David was a great guy," said a friend, Diesel.  "Genuinely humble, never had a bad thing to say about anybody."

Early Wednesday morning, David was killed when his motorcycle hit a car on Highway 613.  Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said the car pulled in front of David's bike just Wednesday crash.  He said accident reconstruction showed the car's driver failed to yield the right of way.

David's friends said the scenario is all too common and doesn't have to happen.  They said lives would be saved if drivers would open their eyes and see motorcycles on the road.

"We're getting pretty fed up about it," said Sam Tootle, another friend. "We have a right to be riding the road without having to worry about getting run over."

Bikers say the stakes are often higher when they have an accident on the road.

"With a car you get a fender bender, you just you know, a little paint, maybe a little body work, that's about it," explained Diesel.  "With a bike, generally somebody's going to go down and get road rash, broken bones."

These bikers are frustrated that when they drive safely, their fate often lies in the hands of distracted drives.

"I hope the next time you're driving down the road putting your makeup on, texting somebody, eating a hamburger, yelling at your kids in the backseat, I hope you pay attention to what's going on around you," Tootle said.

Anita Hutchinson hopes drivers will wake up so fewer families will suffer the pain she's feeling.

"Riding somewhere down a road that you used to ride together on and you're not with them anymore," Anita said.  "That hurts your heart more than you can even begin to say."

Byrd said the accident is still under investigation.  He said the case will be presented to a grand jury which will decided whether charges will be filed.

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