A Miami dirt bike accident claimed the life of Baltimore Ravens Cornerback Tray Walker recently. The 23-year-old player described by coaches and loved ones as “humble” with a “good and kind heart” and a “great sense of humor” was struck by a sport utility vehicle while riding his Honda motorbike in Liberty City.
According to ESPN, Walker, a Miami native, was traveling west on Northwest 75th Street on a Honda dirt bike around 8 p.m. on a Thursday. Miami-Dade police say he then collided with a Ford Escape that was traveling south on Northwest 21st Avenue.
The auto accident happened at a two-way traffic stop. Walker had not been wearing a helmet. He initially survived the impact, but was transported to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami in extremely critical condition. There was extensive trauma to his head. Specifically, the swelling was significant and his brain had gone too long without sufficient oxygen.
Walker’s agent would later say he had no idea his client even owned a dirt bike. He said he was stung by the fact that a young man with such a promising career and his whole life ahead of him lost his life on a dirt bike.
He pleaded with others not to ride them in the street.
“Ride it off road,” he said, through tears. “Ride in the dirt. That’s why they call it a dirt bike. And wear a helmet.”
Police are still investigating the circumstances of the crash and whether the SUV driver, who stayed at the scene and was not injured, may have been all or partially to blame.
The Miami car accident lawyers at Chalik & Chalik know there aren’t a wealth of statistics on dirt bike accidents – at least not on the road – because they generally aren’t ridden on the road. What we do know is that when “off-road motorcycle riding among children and teens” was analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2006, they found there were an estimated 23,800 children and teens under age 19 treated in hospital emergency departments for off-road motorcycle injuries. Those between the ages of 12 and 15 had the highest rates of non-fatal injuries; Patients over 16 accounted for 70 percent of injuries, with most being male and the majority driving the bikes. Nearly 8 percent of those injured had to be hospitalized.
Called dirt bikes, trail bikes and off-road motorcycles, operators and passengers of these vehicles are usually most susceptible to injuries caused by hazards like uneven terrain, trees and fences. Of course, when they are ridden on the road, there is a significant danger of being struck by a car or other automobile.
Another study published in 2004 in the journal Trauma sought a comparison of the spectrum of injuries and outcomes between off-road and on-road motorcyclists. They found there wsa no significant difference in terms of:
- Helmet use
- Loss of consciousness
- Initial systolic blood pressure
- Initial Glasgow Coma Scale
- Initial Revised Trauma Score
- Hand, wrist, forearm, arm, clavicle, foot, ankle, femur, pelvis, spinal or head injuries.
On-road motorcyclists, however ,were more likely to require blood transfusions and suffer blunt chest, skin and abdominal trauma. They were also more likely to die.
Walker had attended Miami Northwest High and was later recruited by Texas Southern University to play football. The Ravens selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 National Football League draft, and he played eight games in his rookie season, which he dedicated to his father, who died a year earlier of a heart attack.
If you have been a victim of a traffic accident, call Chalik & Chalik at (954) 476-1000 or 1 (800) 873-9040.
Ravens mourn loss of 23-year-old cornerback Tray Walker, March 20, 2016, ESPN.com
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Lowman v. State Farm – Fighting for Damages in Crash Case, March 14, 2016, Miami Accident Lawyer Blog