Last Thursday, the 27-year-old William Ward, a resident of Ocala, was driving his motorcycle southbound down U.S. Highway 441 in Leesburg at about 7:45am when he came upon a stopped school bus that was loading children. Ward, who family and friends remember as always being a careful driver, stopped behind the bus, obeying the signs and the law. As he was waiting for the bus to continue, a pickup truck, driven by the 17-year-old Laurel Mako, came up to the line of stopped vehicles. Mako, who was driving a 2003 Chevy pickup truck, did not stop. It is not known exactly why, but Mako continued to drive forwards, ignoring the vehicles in front of him, until he collided with the back of Ward’s motorcycle, destroying the bike and throwing Ward violently through the air.
Emergency crews were quickly dispatched to the area and rushed Ward to Leesburg Regional Medical Center. There, the doctors did everything they could for the young man, but the injuries he had suffered due to the blunt front of Mako’s truck were too extreme for his body to withstand, and he died shortly after arriving.
Laurel Mako did not suffer any injuries as a result of the accident, and it has been reported that none of the children aboard or around the bus were hurt during the incident, although it is likely that they saw some things that will not quickly leave their young minds.
According to the Leesburg police, the preliminary investigation finds that the Mako, the driver of the pickup, is the primary individual at fault in this situation, although charges are still waiting until the final outcome of the Leesburg police department’s investigation.
This situation outlines the dangers of driving motorcycles. It is not only the driver of bike that needs to be careful but everyone around them. As soon as one person takes their eyes off of the roads, as soon as one person ends their vigilance and assumes that everything will be fine for a moment, lives are put in the balance, and often these lives are lost.
Motorcyclist killed in Leesburg crash
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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