NTSB Releases Report On Fatal Crash During 2017 Toy Run In Augusta
The National Transportation and Safety Board has released its findings on the September 2017 accident in I-95 in Augusta which killed two motorcyclists during the United Bikers of Maine's annual Toy Run.
The NTSB report said that the while the "probable cause" of the September 10, 2017 accident was when a motorcycle crossed in front of a pickup truck, the NTSB report added that the United Bikers of Maine and the Augusta Police did not properly identify the risks of an event where approximately 3,000 motorcycles entered the highway without any supplementary traffic control or assistance from the Maine State Police.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Augusta, Maine, crash was the motorcycle operator’s unsafe maneuver in moving in front of the pickup truck. Contributing to this crash was the failure of the city of Augusta Police Department and the Toy Run event organizer, United Bikers of Maine, to identify and mitigate the risks associated with routing a group ride onto an interstate without providing supplemental traffic control or state police oversight.
Sandy Lyle, past president of the United Bikers of Maine, who handles public relations for the group, said that UBM would have no comment on the report at this time and the group's board would be discussing the report this week.
The Augusta Police have not yet returned messages seeking comment for this story.
In the report, the NTSB said "there was no traffic control, lane closure, or law enforcement presence on I-95 to provide warning, management, or protection for the queue of motorcyclists."
The accident occurred when, according to the NTSB report,
About 12:05 p.m., a 2007 Harley-Davidson XL 1200 motorcycle (vehicle 1), which was participating in the group ride, suddenly moved out of the right lane, traveled across the center lane, and entered the left lane in front of a 2008 Ford F250 pickup truck (vehicle 2), occupied by a 67-year-old male driver and a 99-year-old female passenger, which was traveling north on I-95. The motorcycle was carrying a 25-year-old male operator and a 26-year-old female passenger. Based on skid mark evidence, the pickup truck driver attempted an evasive maneuver but collided with the motorcycle at about mile marker 112.5, losing control of his vehicle, in part because the pickup truck had “collected” the Harley-Davidson XL 1200 motorcycle, causing the pickup truck to rotate clockwise. The pickup truck veered out of the left lane to the right and traveled across the center and right northbound lanes, striking four other motorcycles.
The pickup truck then went through the right guardrail, overturned, and came to rest on its passenger side. The 2007 Harley-Davidson motorcycle traveled through the guardrail and came to rest on its right side in a ditch beside the pickup truck.
As a result of the crash, two motorcyclists died. One motorcyclist and the pickup truck passenger received serious injuries. The pickup truck driver and four motorcyclists received minor injuries.
Jamie Gross, 58 died at the scene and Aaron White-Sevigny, 25, died at a hospital. Two other motorcyclists, who were riding the same bike, 50-year-old driver Trevor Proctor and 46-year-old passenger Tori McGraw, were taken to a local hospital. The occupants of the pickup, William Nusom, 67 and his mother, Anna Nusom, 99, were also taken to a hospital, according to news reports.