Motorcyclist killed in El Paso County crash

John Harlan of Colorado Springs was killed when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a car at the intersection of Powers and Grinnell road on July 6, 2010. The driver of the car, Jacqualine Brown, also of Colorado Springs, apparently didn’t see the motorcycle approaching, and made a left turn directly into its path.

It seems that Harlan may have tried to avoid the accident because witnesses say the Harley-Davidson he was riding first rolled onto its side, then crashed into the left side of the car. Harlan was pronounced dead at the scene. He was only 36 years old.

Harlan’s passenger, Yovanne Medina, 35, of Fountain, was also seriously injured in the crash, and is currently in the hospital undergoing treatment. Neither she nor Harlan were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

According to motorcycle head injury statistics, a motorcyclist is 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash. Helmets reduce this likelihood by 37 percent. Despite these statistics, and the number of people who die in motorcycle accidents every year because they weren’t wearing helmets, only a handful of states require motorcyclists to wear them at all times.

Colorado only requires motorcycle riders under the age of 18 to wear helmets. This is a fairly recent development as the state law previously didn’t require a helmet at all. While John Harlan was well within the law to not wear a helmet while riding his motorcycle, and he was not at fault in this accident, it’s entirely possible that a helmet could have saved his life.