Car ploughed into four bikes, killing rider

KYOGLE-FATAL Kia Rio ploughed into bikes

A Kia Rio has ploughed head-on into four motorcyclists in Kyogle, northern NSW, killing one and injuring three riders yesterday (20 October 2019).

UPDATE 26 MARCH 2020: A 52-year-old man has now been charged with dangerous driving occasioning death, three counts of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, negligent driving occasioning death, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, and driver not keep left of centre dividing line. His licence has been suspended and he is set to face Kyogle Local Court on Wednesday 10 June 2020.

Police say the accident happened about 1.45pm on a hill crest opposite the Cemetery on the south side of town. (Image above courtesy NBN News.)

Emergency services attended the crash on Summerland Way, near Runnymede Road, following reports a Kia Rio travelling north and four motorcycles travelling south collided.

Car ploughed into riders
Image: Seven News

One of the motorcycle riders, Wes “Pop” Carlton, 55, of the Sons Of The Southern Cross motorcycle club, suffered critical injuries and died at the scene.

Wes "Pop" Carlton
Wes “Pop” Carlton (Image: Facebook)

Another rider, a 56-year-old man, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Lismore Base Hospital before being airlifted to Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The other two riders, aged 52 and 53, suffered serious injuries and were taken to Lismore Base Hospital for treatment. They were named as “Smiley, Wellsy and Browny”.

Two more riding in the SOTSC group were not hit.

The driver and sole-occupant of the vehicle, a 52-year-old man, was trapped for a short time before being released and taken to Lismore Hospital for treatment and mandatory testing.

Car ploughed into riders
Image: Seven News

Officers from Richmond Police District established a crime scene, which was examined by the Far North Coast Crash Investigations Unit.

Inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the crash continue and a report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner. No charges have yet been laid.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.

Our sincere condolences to the families and friends of all riders killed and our best wishes for a full and speedy recovery for all those injured in these crashes.

Group crashes

Pick-Up crash with US riders accident
North American group riding crash (Image: Associated Press)

Riders are vulnerable road users, but when they are riding in a group they present a bigger target and the results can be carnage.

We have reported on several group crashes in recent months in Australia.

But the most tragic was the crash in North America where an unlicensed pick-up truck driver ploughed into 10 bikes, killing seven riders.

The driver returns to court next month where he faces a long jail term.

7 Comments

  1. The Kia Rio was on the wrong side of the road & I find it unbelievable that some input here blames the motorcyclists for riding too close to each other!
    e.g. If a group is in a car & hit by a Kia Rio driving on the incorrect side of the road, perhaps it would be their fault for being in the same car.
    Sad loss & injuries regardless of how the car driver is charged.

  2. I don’t know if any of the comments above are blaming the riders, but merely pointing out that when travelling in a group, if someone crosses into the groups path, the closer you are together, the more chance of being hit. Conversely, the headline “car ploughs into 4 bikes” gives you the idea that it may be the drivers fault, but it is under investigation, so anything like this is suposition, even if likely true.

    My issue is that as often is the case, we rarely, if ever, get the see the results of investigations, which is frustrating. At best, we hear that someone has been charged, but rarely do we really get the chance to know exactly what happened and what could have been done differently to avoid the incident in the first place. Often, all we get is more harrassment as riders, although I do often see the roadside electronic board trailers extolling us the “ride to live” and for motorists to “watch out for motorcyclists”. I’ll bet they really help and make motorists evaluate their own attitudes. Not.

  3. It will be hard to convince people to ride motorcycles if all the news are going to be about rider deaths. Eight of the stories on the front page are about rider deaths and accidents.

  4. As tragic as this accident is it shows to me how careful we must be as riders. Too many times I have seen groups of riders in too close formation which leads to incidents like this. Please all ride with care and give yourselves room to maneuver.

  5. This is why you must ALWAYS keep a 2 to 3 second gap between riders. Why do riders on group rides always seem to want to bunch up? Crashes like this are the inevitable result.

      1. Can’t believe questioning how people ride when a car plows into them. Seems a lot of people want to blame m/c all the time. Ride safe brothers & sisters

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