COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Columbia motorcycle shop is reminding people about the importance of safety after one of its employees was killed in a crash Tuesday.
Skylar Maddox, 25, was riding his motorcycle on Providence Road when police say Susan Hanel, 72, failed to yield, causing Maddox to crash into her vehicle at Sexton Road, according to police. Hanel allegedly told police she had been taking methadone and Valium.
Maddox was thrown from his motorcycle and was pronounced dead at a hospital. Prosecutors charged Hanel with multiple felonies, including causing a death while driving impaired. According to the probable cause statement, a witness says Hanel didn't have on any lights when she was driving.
Gilbane Motorsports has put a green cross with a motorcycle sprocket and a bright yellow sign out on Providence road where Maddox crash happed, reminding drivers to watch for motorcycles when they are driving. Maddox friends at Gilbane Motorsports said Kawasaki green was Maddox favorite color.
Ray Pierce is the program manager with the Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program and he has been riding motorcycles for 31 years. Pierce said drivers need to always be aware.
"In the instances I seen where a car turns left or pull out in front of a motorcycle. There's frequently no time for a motorcyclist to do much of anything. So it's hypercritical for the car driver expect to see a motorcycle," said Pierce.
Pierce added that a way for motorcyclists to stay safe is to wear bright colors. "The other thing that motorcyclist can do is wear bright clothing and ride brighter color motorcycles," said Pierce.
According to drivingtest.org, car drivers can take steps to help themselves and motorcyclists stay safe while sharing the road. The number one piece of advice for car drivers is to check blind spots.
Drivingtest.org recommends taking the time to scan all blind spots when driving. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and trucks. It may be hard to spot a motorcyclist while merging. Automobile drivers should make sure to signal and take a second look before turning left.
Drivingtest.org says taking an extra look for an approaching motorcycle can help prevent fatal injuries. Crashes involving the collision of a left-turning car and an approaching motorcycle -- like the one that killed Maddox -- can be very severe, often because the motorcycle T-bones the car while it is midway through the left turn.
Missouri Highway Patrol reports that there were 116 deadly crashes in 2020 involving a motorcycle.