A 50-year old woman passing in a no passing zone caused a multi-car accident that killed a motorcyclist last night north of Salem on Highway 221.

(You can read the news report at KGW.com)

Her car clipped the back end of an oncoming travel trailer, causing her to go into that lane and hitting a 47-year old man riding a Harley-Davidson head-on. The motorcycle then struck a Toyota Tercel with two men inside. Both the motorcycle and the Toyota caught fire. The two Hispanic men in the Toyota were able to get out of the car safely, but apparently walked away from the scene after hanging around for only a few minutes. They haven’t been seen since (if you know who they are, call 800-452-7888. Accident investigators wish to speak with them about what happened).

The guy on the Harley was wearing a helmet but was pronounced dead on the scene. The lady driving the Ford Escort that caused the accident received serious injuries and was flown to by Life Flight to OHSU.

This is yet another tragic example of stupid or inattentive cagers (car drivers) causing accidents that kill motorcyclists. The woman was performing an illegal action that was unsafe and caused the death of another human being. She needs to be charged with involuntary manslaughter or vehicular homicide. She should lose her license for 5 years and be required to perform community service, preferably in support of motorcyclists. Perhaps she should have to spend every weekend for an entire summer volunteering at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s basic rider’s training course.

Either way, what she did was wrong and should not go unpunished.