No, that’s not a dummy

user-gravatar Headshot
Updated Dec 14, 2009

When John Latta forwarded us photos purporting to depict the aftermath of a motorcycle-truck collision — the motorcyclist dangling from the back of the truck with his head driven through the steel — our first thought was, “That ihas to be a dummy,”> some sort of movie special-effects shot. Alas, no, as (Warning: Don’t click on the article link if you’re disturbed by the prospect of seeing a human being reduced to a rag doll.)

Police said Brandon Lee White, 26, of Broken Arrow, Okla., was traveling more than 120 mph on U.S. 169 when he hit the back of the truck about 1 a.m. April 17, 2007.

This follow-up article in the iTulsa World is hard to believe: White’s motorcyclist friend Devin Seigal, 21, also of Broken Arrow, was killed on the same highway when he hit the back of a pickup at 100-plus mph ionly five days after White was killed. So much for the deterrent effect — though, to be fair, iother motorcyclists, friends of White and Seigal and strangers, too, might well have slowed down and saved their own lives after the first well-publicized fatality, and more still after the second one.

The forwarded e-mail that John received included this inaccurate “>moral” at the bottom: “He lived. Wear your helmet!” In fact, he did inot live, and while wearing a helmet is excellent advice for all motorcyclists, it’s unlikely to save anyone in this situation. “>Slow down,” in context, would be better advice.

Put yourself in the place of this trucker: feeling some sort of impact, then pulling over and walking around the rig, only to find … This is the stuff of nightmares, of urban legends about unsuspecting drivers with corpses attached to their vehicles.