• May 24, 2022

Michael Lotzer Killed in Motorcycle Accident on CR G in Forest, WI

UPDATE (June 9, 2022): The motorcyclist killed in this accident has been identified as 67-year-old Michael Lotzer.

Town of Forest, WI -- May 23, 2022, a 67-year-old motorcyclist from Chilton was killed in a crash with a dump truck on County Road G in Fond du Lac County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 11:00 a.m. on Co Rd G. Preliminary investigation suggests a dump truck was turning left off the highway when the motorcyclist behind it tried to pass. According to reports the bike struck the truck's tires and the rider was ejected, suffering fatal injuries. The dump truck driver was unhurt.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Town of Forest Motorcycle Accident on CR G

The idea that a rear-end crash is always the rear driver's fault, without exception, is still one of the most pervasive misunderstandings I regularly deal with. I can understand how folks might believe it because investigators often say that's what happened, but it's still not as automatic as some believe it to be. Before anyone can say what really happened in Wisconsin it's important to consider other possible explanations and variables.

To make sure the accident is properly understood, investigators will need to look more closely at all its specific details. For instance, what is visibility like in that area? Were lines of sight clear? How close were the motorcycle and the dump truck, and how fast were each traveling before the truck turned? Were both in proper working order--brakes, steering, safety measures? Reports say the truck "began to turn" just before the bike hit it, so did the truck driver slow gradually when approaching the turn or did they brake abruptly? Was the spot to turn obvious from further down the road? Did the driver signal as they came close to it? Was the victim paying attention to his surroundings? If not, why not? Did any witnesses see what happened?

I don't mean to overcomplicate this matter or suggest I know more than what reports indicate. I'm only saying what I so often do: When people are hurt or killed in accidents like this one, it's not right to blame them by default just because one vehicle allegedly hit another. Instead it's critical to understand exactly how and why the wreck happened. To find those answers one must account for all the potential factors. It's possible a full analysis would just find or confirm a simple explanation, but only after all options are considered can anyone be sure. At the very least the victim should get the benefit of the doubt unless the evidence says otherwise.

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