• January 17, 2023

Christopher Westover Killed in Crash with SUV at Dyer and Ameen in El Paso, TX

UPDATE (February 1, 2023): The victim of this accident has been identified as 27-year-old Christopher Westover.

El Paso, TX — January 13, 2023, a motorcyclist was fatally injured in a collision with a pickup truck at Dyer Street and Ameen Drive in El Paso.

Authorities say the incident happened around 8:45 p.m. at Dyer and Ameen. Preliminary investigation suggests a GMC Sierra pickup truck was northbound on Dyer when the driver started to turn left onto Ameen. Investigators believe the pickup driver failed to yield the right-of-way to a southbound motorcycle on Dyer, which they say was traveling at high speeds. The two vehicles collided in the intersection.

The motorcyclist was fatally injured in the collision. No other injuries were reported.

The investigation continues but police mentioned failure to yield, speed, and possible alcohol consumption as potential factors.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

UPDATE (February 1, 2023): Investigators later alleged that the pickup driver who turned into the victim's path may have been intoxicated at the time. Blood samples were collected for testing and results are pending.

Only those results could really say whether impairment was a factor here, but the possibility reinforces my previous point about the dangers of drawing premature conclusions—or deciding too quickly that someone on a motorcycle was more or less automatically to blame for an accident.

Christopher Westover Killed in El Paso, TX Motorcycle Accident on Dyer St

ORIGINAL: As with most accidents, there's a clear need here for careful and thorough investigation to learn the whole story. Unfortunately, some may be ready to forego that and just point fingers. Even with preliminary details pointing to the truck driver failing to yield in El Paso, some folks' knee-jerk reaction is likely to blame the motorcycle rider simply for his choice of vehicle—and the reckless behavior riders often get associated with.

Whatever the cause of their bias, they don't have the same experience I do with these accidents and may not realize how grossly unfair that generalization is. The majority of motorcyclists show an abundance of caution, sometimes even more than folks in cars and trucks because they lack the same protections.

Am I saying it's impossible that a simple mistake led to this crash? No. However, that doesn't mean they can be taken for granted. Even if some possible explanations are less common that doesn't mean they can be overlooked: Tire blowouts, bad roads, medical emergencies, vehicle malfunctions, bad lighting, broken headlights—these are all factors worth exploring to make sure the victim's loved ones get the answers they deserve. I hope when all is said and done that authorities will make sure that happens.

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