After a stream of fatal motorcycle crashes in some of Boston’s new “Big Dig” tunnels, lawmakers and friends of the deceased motorcyclists alike want an investigation conducted on the tunnel handrails, which were linked to the fatal accidents.
“While I am not an engineer, it’s clear there is a safety issue here,” State Senate President Therese Murray said in an email to the Boston Globe, which covered the story. Murray is calling for an official review of the motorcycle accidents by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the agency that administers the state’s tunnel system.
Since 2004, seven fatal motorcycle accidents have been linked to handrails.
According to a Globe report back in February, 2010, seven of the nine fatal motorcycle crashes in new tunnels between 2004 and 2008 occurred after motorcyclists hit handrails. Most of the motorcyclists were dismembered in the accidents, and one person who survived a crash lost an arm.
“It does not appear that we have had this problem in the older tunnels,” Murray said. “I don’t know if the railing height is different, or if it’s [speeding] or [dangerous curves] in the new tunnels that are adding to the equation.”
If the tunnels are in fact dangerous to motorcyclists, these deaths could be legally ruled as wrongful deaths and would lead to several lawsuits. That is why our motorcycle accident lawyers always thoroughly investigate all the facts of a client’s crash. Even though another motorist might not have caused these fatal crashes, the company or governmental organization that built or maintains the tunnels could be held liable for a motorcycle accident settlement.
***Please Note: We are not saying that anyone is at fault for these fatal accidents because we don’t know the facts of these cases and are only speaking in general terms.
Not surprisingly, a motorcycle accident lawsuit is currently underway from a crash in the tunnel system. The widow of a late state trooper has made an insurance claim. A Trooper died in a 2005 motorcycle crash in which he broke his neck and lost an arm after he struck a handrail post. Both defendants in the case insist that the handrails meet all state, federal and industry guidelines.
The Department of Transportation is closely monitoring the situation. Hopefully, this tunnel handrail problem is taken care of — if it is determined to be causing these fatal motorcycle accidents — before more people die.
If you or someone you know was injured in a motorcycle crash, contact one of our motorcycle accident lawyers for a FREE Consultation at 1-858-551-2090 or click here to submit your case for a FREE Online Review. You may be eligible for monetary compensation, and our lawyers can help. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe nothing until we recovery money on your behalf.