Motorcyclist fatally strikes tow driver's hook
From the Houston Chronicle today:
A Houston motorcyclist died after his head struck the hook of a wrecker pulling a car at Fondren and Concho late Thursday, police said.
Robert H. Starkey, 47, of 6229 Tanager, slid his Yamaha motorcycle on its side for about 25 feet in an apparent attempt to avoid hitting wrecker-auto combination in the 7800 block of Fondren, Houston police accident investigator Officer L.C. Morrison said.
"The hook caught his head, and he was killed instantly," Morrison said.
"He didn't see the car in time."
Starkey, a road construction worker, was not wearing a helmet and was not licensed to drive a motorcycle, Morrison said.
The death occurred at 10 p.m. after Elite Towing Service driver David Compean, 22, exited a CVS store parking lot towing a dark green vehicle. Compean pulled across the southbound lanes of Fondren planning to turn into the northbound lanes, Morrison said.
Compean was forced to stop because of traffic in the northbound lanes, and the car he was towing remained protruding into the southbound lanes, Morrison said.
Witnesses reported that Starkey changed lanes from behind a moving vehicle as traffic neared the towed car and was unable to stop in time. The speed limit is 30 mph at the site and Morrison estimated Starkey was traveling at 35 to 40 mph.
The dark car hooked to the wrecker blended into the dark grass of the median and other parts of the background, making it difficult to spot the car immediately, Morrison said.
The wrecker truck was equipped with required lights, but Compean was cited for failure to yield the right of way when exiting a private driveway, Morrison said.